The Drowning Coast Series
An NPR podcast about the acidification of the oceans and its effect on oyster habitats prompted this series of drawing/collages. The health of oysters is clearly related to clean healthy tidal waters. Oysters, mollusks and sea grasses that make up numerous tidal regions are the harbinger of health for our oceans and planet. The growing acidification of coastal waters from human impact impedes the process of calcification as related to the growth of an oyster’s shell. Unlike the Pacific plastic gyre or trash on our beaches, acidification is not something most of us can easily see.
The acidification of ocean water is the absorption of CO2 by H2O. “Ocean acidification represents a direct chemical change to global ocean chemistry in response to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2)”. climateinterpreter.org
CO2 + H2O -> (H+) + (HCO3-)
It has been found that sea grasses hold some hope to counteract acidification in the water as well as creating general healthy environments for many tidal creatures and helping to maintain lowland barriers to flooding.
The concept for these drawings began to take shape on a two page satellite photo spread of the Louisiana coast for a New York Times story entitled the Drowning Coast, about the sinking Louisiana coastal region. I was struck by the beauty of the satellite photo on newsprint and felt a connection between the coastal habitats of Louisiana and what I had recently learned about acidification of ocean water, it’s affects on oyster habitats and communities of people that make their life connected to the marine environment. The Drowning Coast isn’t just Louisiana, it’s also California, the Pacific Northwest, the Chesapeake Bay, Manhattan, Long Beach Island NJ and coastal communities world wide.
Further reading and listening:
NPR podcast: “Can Seagrass Save Shellfish from Climate Change” KQED The Salt That’s on Your Table January 30th,2018
New York Times: Feb 24, 2018 - The Drowning Coast. This three-part special report about the ecological crisis facing Louisiana's vanishing coast, and the people who live there.
The Drowning Coast Series #1 2018
Charcoal and acrylic paint on newsprint 12”x20” unframed
The Drowning Coast Series #2
Charcoal & acrylic paint on newsprint 12”x20” unframed
The Drowning Coast Series #3
Charcoal, conti crayon on newsprint 9”x14” unframed
Drawing on book cover & collage. 11”x14” Tribute to the seagrasses that counter act the absorbtion of CO2 in the water.