WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – A researcher at the University of North Carolina Wilmington turned her research of plastic debris in the ocean into artwork and will take it on a tour around the country.
Bonnie Monteleone is a researcher of plastic marine debris and the coordinator for the marine debris lab at UNCW. Monteleone researched the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and recognized the severity of the problem of plastic in the ocean. She made it her mission to educate others on this issue and inform them of ways they can help alleviate the problem.
Monteleone turned her passion for preventing a plastic ocean into an art project. In Montelone's depiction of the Garbage Patch, she painted plastic found in samples from her ocean voyage over 10,000 nautical miles.
Recently, the Plastic Ocean Project was awarded a $5,000 grant from Project Aware. Musician Jack Johnson handpicked the project to be part of his AllAtOnce Foundation where he will be matching donations up to $2,500.
Monteleone will be taking the art project on display across the country to teach the masses about how they can prevent a plastic ocean.
"We can all keep plastic out of the water, it's important to make a difference because there are lives at stake," says Monteleone.
Monteleone and students at UNCW are working on researching the impact of plastic on marine life and other projects.