I Hereby Reclaim This Land for Nature!

The Ocean Doctor on WebTalkRadio.net

December 13, 2010: Mangroves are critically important to our coastlines, to fish, manatees and other ocean wildlife we love. But in South Florida many acres of mangroves were destroyed to make way for waterfront real estate, and around the world, mangroves face a myriad of threats. Enter the Reclamation Project, a unique art, education and restoration project hosted at Miami Science Museum. Mangrove seedlings in cups are displayed as art in galleries, retail stores and schools throughout the region, and once large enough, they are replanted along the shoreline. Along the way comes lots of new awareness about the incredible wetlands residents may be only vaguely aware of, and deep appreciation for the beauty of nature. Our guests: Reclamation Project Founder and artist, Xavier Cortada and Executive Director, Fernando Bretos. Also: Attacked by the Giant Squid’s cousins and a silky shark with an appetite for video cameras.

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This Week: I Hereby Reclaim This Land for Nature!

Mangrove seedlings on display

The Reclamation Project is a participatory eco-art project launched by Miami artist, Xavier Cortada in 2006.  It explores our ability to coexist with the natural world.

Since 2007, the coastal reforestation component of the Reclamation Project has been based at the Miami Science Museum, where an installation of 1,100 mangrove seedlings is on permanent exhibit. Annually, volunteers collect mangrove propagules in coastal areas. The propagules are then exhibited in clear, water-filled cups where they are nurtured into seedlings and eventually planted along coastal areas.  This coastal reforestation creates new habitats above and below the water line.

After being on display, mangrove seedlings are then replanted by volunteers

After being on display, mangrove seedlings are then replanted by volunteers

The Reclamation Project’s Native Flags initiative aims to regrow native habitats in upland areas. Participants are encouraged to plant native tree and a green flag in their front yard, reclaiming it for nature.

Native Flags is based at Miami-Dade Park’s Deering Estate at Cutler, where visitors can purchase their green flag and see an exhibit of the 12 native trees featured for South Florida.

Xavier Cortada: Artist and Founder of The Reclamation Project

Xavier Cortada: Artist and Founder of The Reclamation Project

The Reclamation Project Foundation generates resources to help implement this participatory eco-art project.  The Board’s present emphasis is aimed at educating and engaging South Floridians in reforesting coastal and urban areas by bringing the Reclamation Project to local communities, institutions and schools.

Fernando Bretos: Executive Director of The Reclamation Project

Fernando Bretos: Executive Director of The Reclamation Project

Since the original temporary installations at South Beach retail spaces during 2006,?the Reclamation Project expanded to three other Florida communities to include:

-South Florida (presented by the Miami Science Museum and Deering Estate at Cutler)
-Treasure Coast (presented by Martin County Council of the Arts and Heathcote Botanical Gardens)
-Pinellas County (presented by Pinellas County Public Art and Design Program and Florida Botanical Gardens)
-Tampa (presented by Tampa Preparatory School).

Adopt a Seedling | The Reclamation Project

Adopt a Seedling with The Reclamation Project



Tip of the Week: Adopt a Seedling!

Make a lasting contribution to the Reclamation Project at the Miami Science Museum by adopting a mangrove seedling. For $25, you can donate to the Reclamation Project and have a mangrove seedling displayed at the Miami Science Museum and then planted in your or another’s name. Learn more…


Video: Attacked by the Giant Squid’s Cousins

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