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View from Rocky Valley, Cornwall painting
Acrylic on canvas, 14x18"
I find the Cornish coastline really beautiful. The colour of the sea is a special deep blue-green, and the energy of the sea as it hits all the interestingly shaped rocks is dramatic. I wanted to paint a seascape with expressive feeling, so I used an impressionistic painterly style and tried to paint quickly without over attention to details.
Beach litter and the threat to marine wildlife
Mcsuk.org say, "Litter is swamping our oceans and is washing up on beaches. It kills wildlife, looks disgusting, is a hazard to our health and costs millions to clear up. There are nearly 2,000 items of rubbish for every kilometre on a beach. Marine wildlife gets entangled in litter and accidentally ingests it.
Turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish and the bags block their stomachs, often leading to death from starvation. Seabirds mistake floating plastic litter for food, and over 90% of fulmars found dead around the North Sea have plastic in their stomachs.
Plastic litter on beaches has increased 140% since 1994. Plastic never biodegrades. It just breaks down into small pieces but does not disappear. Microplastic particles are now found inside filter feeding animals and amongst sand grains on our beaches. (from www.mcsuk.org's clean sea and beaches page)
And from www.globalanimal.org): "Over 100,000 marine mammal die each year from eating plastic bags...In April 2002, a dead Minke whale washed up on the Normandy coast. An investigation found that the animal’s stomach contained 800 kg of plastic bags...In February 2004, a Cuviers Beaked whale washed ashore on the coast of Isle of Mull, Scotland was found to have a cylinder of tightly packed shredded black plastic bin liner bags blocking its stomach...a seal or pelican entangled in plastic is all-too-common."
Also, from ecowatch.com, "In marine environments, many animals confuse the plastic littering the oceans for food,...Once in these animals bodies the plastic bioaccmulates, and the chemicals can cause excess estrogen to be produced, which has led to discoveries of male fish with female sex organs."
In 2014, the BBC reported that, "Every time Martin Dorey visited one of his local beaches, he spent two minutes picking up some of the harmful plastics and marine rubbish that had washed ashore. Then he had a simple idea. What if everyone did the same? So Martin used social media to spread the idea. And before long #2minutebeachclean started appearing on Twitter and Instagram around the World."
So, (from beachclean.net) "Next time you go to the beach, whether it’s to surf or walk the dog, it’s easy to make time for a 2 minute beach clean. You pick up a few bits of marine litter and take it home to recycle or put it in a bin at the beach. It’s as simple as that. ...Then, when you are done, take a picture of your little haul on your phone (or make something arty with it) and post it to Twitter or Instagram using our #2minutebeachclean hashtag. Your picture will appear on this page (http://beachclean.net/), along with everybody else’s and will help to inspire more people to do the same. The more people do it, the more others will get involved and the more we’ll be able to do."