Art To Save The Ocean

Luca Boccalato, Staff Writer

In 2021, Miami Beach visitors looking for the newest artistic attraction should head for the ocean floor. 

Reefline, the new public park, is an artificial reef whose first mile will open to customers in Dec. 2021. The Reefline team plans on building a complete stretch of seven miles that echoes the experience of traveling the Manhattan skyline. 

This project, beneficial to the famous South Beach ecosystem, was one of the main reasons Ximena Caminos of Bluelab Preservation Society started this project. The idea came to the founder and art director after she learned that artificial reefs deposited in South Beach could aid in replenishing the coral population of the ecosystem.

Miami Senior High School senior and environmental advocate Iris Vanderveen shares her thoughts on the importance of this kind of art. 

“While marine protected areas can rejuvenate themselves, this can only be done through policy change which is very hard to get passed at times because all countries who use these areas have to agree to the terms…This new approach is something I am excited for,” Vanderveen said. ”Art to Save the Ocean, while not to the perfect amount, is working. These Marine ecosystems are so critical to the health of our planet, and the efforts to allow these areas to flourish is extremely important.”

The park welcomes visitors who are interested in the environment from across the planet while also providing a habitat for reef organisms in danger of extinction. 

Coral reef regions promote biodiversity, and about one-fourth of the world’s fish depend on them to survive, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.

 In recent years, largely attributed to bleaching disease, rising, and warming waters  South Florida’s coral reefs have died at alarming rates. This is not just a local problem, but a global one, too, as a recent study found that the largest reef in the world — the Great Barrier Reef — has lost 50% of its living corals in the past thirty years. 

Due to the losses of coral reefs, in recent years, the art and design world has kickstarted a new artistic trend called “Art to Save the Oceans,” focused on raising awareness for the critical condition of coral reefs in the world. This is exactly what the Reefline aims to do. 

Along the Reefline, multiple well-known artists plan to add their own pieces to the attraction. Some of the first artists to debut their work include Shigematsu, who designs a layout in addition to the park’s layout, and Argentinian conceptual artist Leandro Erlich, who makes an underwater version of a piece he presented at Miami Art Week last year. This will turn into an enormous sand sculpture of a 66-car jam that deteriorates over time. 

In the following stage, Reefline plans to reveal work created by other artists, such as Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto and Argentinian artist Augustina Woodgate.

In later stages, Reefline looks to unveil more work by artists whose work relates to the environment and raises awareness about urgent issues.