Plankton should be viewed as aquatic heroes | Letter to the editor

Posted 5/22/22

Seventy percent of the Earth is covered in water. Billions of microscopic plants and animals floating at the ocean’s surface provide the majority of the oxygen we breathe while sustaining all …

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Plankton should be viewed as aquatic heroes | Letter to the editor

Posted

Seventy percent of the Earth is covered in water. Billions of microscopic plants and animals floating at the ocean’s surface provide the majority of the oxygen we breathe while sustaining all life in the sea. 

Although invisible, plankton are critically important to the survival of life on Earth and in need of our support. My goal is to create artistic opportunities for people to engage with these tiny organisms and better understand them.

Because children will inherit the responsibility of our threatened oceans, my work is especially concerned with providing playful and tactile sculptures to spark their imaginations and inspire stewardship.

Whales and sea otters have long been ocean icons for kids, but plankton provide new and unusual characters that have many of the superpowers that delight children. Flashing lights, shape-shifting, carbon-guzzling, and, for better or worse — invisibility. It’s time for plankton to become visible and recognized as the aquatic heroes that they are.

With a 12-foot sea star larva soon to be installed at the JUMP! Playground in HJ Carroll Park, kids could have twice the planktonic fun if their very own “Crab Louie” was installed at Pope Park.

Port Townsend residents should know that I am proposing a loan of this piece that can easily be removed after a year.

The rendering in last week’s paper is not mine and the scale is inaccurate. The top of the head is 4 feet. The tip of the spine or horn is 8 feet.

Rebecca Welti
PORT TOWNSEND

Comments

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  • Justin Hale

    If the plankton can become invisible that would be my choice. Here's a thought, you could make a plankton costume and wander the streets downtown.....

    Sunday, May 22 Report this

  • Conrad

    Since this piece of art is moveable, how about letting it grace the front yards of the all the art commissioners that think it's so super cool? Each one gets to enjoy it for as long as they can stand it, then off to the next commissioner's house!

    Friday, May 27 Report this

  • Thomas Camfield

    I wonder how long the human race actually will survive (especially with our ever-increasing rate of reproduction). Too bad education involves a little effort, considerable expense and concern for the day after tomorrow. If it takes art to pry open the door to knowledge, we should welcome it. But many of us seem too self-indulgent to waste time or money on it all.

    I don’t expect to be around much longer, but I have several great grandchildren whose best interests are my own. I can only hope that elementary education will serve them well. I am not a sculptural artist, but I do believe that curiosity is one major route to knowledge. Look how much we have learned since this matter came up to the public.

    According to the Internet: ”The current rate of extinction is up to 10,000 times higher than the average historical extinction rates. We, the humans, are almost wholly responsible for this increase. Species are disappearing as you read this. We don't know exactly how many species go extinct every year but it could be 100,000—about 1 every 5 minutes.”

    Wednesday, June 1 Report this

  • Justin Hale

    Wow Tom, that's pretty dismal, so sure let's make a monument to it.....

    Saturday, June 4 Report this