Shining bright from the northeast coast of Florida, you’ll find a holiday event like no other! For the 7th year in the row, Deck the Chairs has brought holiday cheer to Jacksonville Beach. Recently, the event has evolved to including displays that bring awareness to the harm of single use plastics and ghost net fishing, tying together purpose with holiday festivity!
This year, Ocean Sole was proud to be a sponsor for the event and work closely with Beaches Go Green, an educational and environmental awareness nonprofit organization.
For the last three years Beaches Go Green has brought to life their Octopus Garden, which consists of a 100-foot long octopus exhibit made entirely from recycled materials. The octopus arms alone are made of 15,318 recycled plastic bottles, ranging from small water bottles to oil containers.
In the garden you’ll also find two 15-foot tall jellyfish and a sea urchin that utilize plastic shopping bags, pool noodles and more recycled materials to shed light on the harmful usage of single use plastics.
While the main exhibit is adorned with bright lights, there are educational facts spread out around the area. One of the main posters in the exhibit discusses plastic facts, such as 73 percent of all beach litter is plastic. It can take 450 years for plastic to degrade.
Every weekend of the eventOcean Sole will have a table set up in the octopus garden where we’ll be selling our hand made art work and bringing awareness to the amount of ocean trash and flip flops that wash up along the coast of Africa.
Ocean Sole was thrilled to be a part of the new addition to the Octopus Garden this year, a 70-foot reclaimed fishing net to raise awareness about “ghost nets” and how if abandoned, it can harm wildlife. Caught in the net you’ll find 10 of our large marine sculptures.
Ghost nets are fishing nets that have been left or lost in the ocean by fishermen. These nets, often nearly invisible in the dim light, can be left tangled on a rocky reef or drifting in the open sea.
They can entangle all sorts of aquatic creatures including fish, dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, and more. From 2000 to 2012, the National Marine Fisheries Service reported an average of 11 large whales entangled in ghost nets every year along the US west coast.
With this exhibit, Ocean Sole and Beaches Go Green hope to bring awareness to the little known issue of Ghost net fishing and how harmful it can be to marine life
Deck the Chairs is a public charity organization and annual event that promotes the arts and community pride by featuring creative, lighted lifeguard chairs and other exhibits. The displays are at the Sea Walk Pavilion area, adjacent to Latham Plaza, and will be lit up every night through New Year’s Day.