Target: Tre’ Packard, Founder of the Hawaii-based conservation non-profit PangeaSeed
Goal: Applaud public art project to raise awareness about endangered marine life
Known as the largest fish and shark in the world, the whale shark is a gentle, slow-moving, and generally solitary animal. Filtering plankton through their enormous mouths and gills, whale sharks tend to congregate in areas where plankton is abundant, which makes them prime tourist attractions, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Unfortunately, whale shark tourism can interrupt the animals’ feeding and put them at risk of getting injured by boat propellers. Located off of Cancun, Mexico, the small island known as Isla Mujeres is one such place where whale sharks face this threat. Now, it has also become the site of a visionary public art project to bring attention to the threats these animals face. Thank the Hawaii-based non-profit PangeaSeed for inspiring the global community to care about these magnificent marine animals by inviting artists to create murals portraying these endangered creatures.
From May to September, one of the largest population of whale sharks, an endangered and overfished species, passes along the five-mile-long island’s coast during migration. PangeaSeed, dedicated to advocating for the conservation of sharks and marine species worldwide, has invited renowned contemporary street artists from around the world to create a series of 15 murals portraying not only whale sharks, but another endangered species, manta rays. In preparation for the project, the artists were able to spend two days swimming and interacting with a variety of these and other marine animals, according to a recent article in the New York Times. With a cousin initiative in San Diego, the project, known as “SeaWalls: Murals for Oceans,” ultimately seeks to educate both tourists and local residents about conservation efforts in the area.
By signing the petition below, you can thank PangeaSeed for this powerful and beautiful reminder of the majesty of these animals and our responsibility to protect them.
Dear Mr. Packard,
I am writing to applaud your public art initiative that is raising awareness about the importance of marine conservation among local residents and tourists in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Bringing together artists from around the world, you are helping our global community engage with this cause and helping this small island to have a big impact in marine conservation.
SeaWalls: Murals for Oceans is a beautiful example of how art can be a powerful instrument for activism. Thank you for your visionary efforts inspiring individuals and communities to take an active interest in protecting our marine ecosystems. I wish you the best of luck in all your future projects.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Zac Wolf