Great Lakes Plastic Pollution Mosaic Metro Detroit aquarium

AUBURN HILLS (WWJ) – Trash that once floated in the Great Lakes has been repurposed in a striking mosaic that is now featured in an aquarium in Detroit’s metro.

SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium in Auburn Hills showcases local art, showcasing Michigan’s natural beauty while teaching others the steps they can take to help protect the state’s habitats for creatures and generations to come. come.

Hannah Tizedes, a Royal Oak-based artist and self-proclaimed ‘Earth lover mama’, is the creator of the mosaic installation in the newly renovated ‘Conservation Cove’ exhibit.

Hannah Tizedes

Photo credit SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium

Aquarium officials said Tizedes spent more than a year collecting waste from the Great Lakes to create the 6-foot-long mosaic made from recycled plastic.

“This mosaic is a celebration of Michigan’s Great Lakes and a reminder of the effects our daily activities can have on them,” Tizedes said. “We’ve all heard about the plastic pollution in our oceans, but not enough about the plastic ending up right here in our Great Lakes.”

The Great Lakes mosaic contains 917 pieces of plastic that were collected from the shores of Lake Erie, Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. It took Tizedes 30 hours over a ten-day period to assemble after selecting and cleaning each piece of plastic.

Aquarium officials said some common items found by Tizedes were plastic bottles, plastic bottle caps, plastic straws, plastic lighters, cigarette butts, broken plastic beach toys , plastic bags and plastic toothpicks.

Plastic Waste Bowl

Photo credit SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium

“It is estimated that approximately 22 million pounds of plastic pollution ends up in the Great Lakes each year,” said Lauren Grauer, chief marine biologist at SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium. “It typically enters the Great Lakes through sewage systems, illegal landfills, storm drains, and bedbugs.”

In addition to Hannah’s plastic mosaic, the exhibit includes a 22-foot-long mural of Port Austin’s famous natural landmark, “Turnip Rock,” while showcasing local shops and charging points that sell environmentally friendly products like bulk goods.

“This project is super meaningful to me and I’m beyond excited to share it with the Michigan community,” Tizedes said. “I hope this piece of art can be a tool for education and, most importantly, inspiration for action, because if I know one thing, it’s that we can all work together to make the better world.”

For more information on SEA LIFE and to buy tickets, click on HERE.

Bryce K. Locke