Kauai Chapter

Marine Debris Art

Many artists are recognizing the impacts of marine debris are now using it as their medium. These artists share a vision of creating aesthetically powerful pieces of art out of marine debris to educate global audiences and spark consumer change. Surfrider Kauai is supporting these artists by supplying them with the plastics and nets that they use to create their art.

Here are some of the amazing artists and projects that we support:

Monika Mira of More Responsible Living
Surfrider Kauai Chapter’s Resident Artist

Kauai artist, Monika Mira has partnered with the Kauai Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation to bring marine debris art education into schools and the community through workshops and exhibits.

In partnership with local businesses and non-profit organizations, Mira has held marine debris art workshops at: Kalaheo School, Anaina Hou Community Gardens, Nawiliwili Yacht Club (Kauai Sailing Association), Kukui Grove Center (Kauai Society of Artists), Storybook Theatre, and Koloa Neighborhood Center. She also makes her marine debris art tutorials available on youtube. In the future, Mira will be collaborating with other artists to create some large marine debris sculptures.

Mira’s workshops include educational lectures about marine debris, and may include other scientific activities and exercises depending on the needs of the school or organization. Many of her students will participate in beach cleanups before creating the final pieces of art.

Mira also holds annual ghost net Christmas Wreath Workshops. Please check our event schedule or Facebook page for more info (this class fills up fast).

If your school or organization is interested in a marine debris art workshop, please click here for more information. If your business is interested in sponsoring a workshop please contact us for more info.

Kauai Society of Artists (KSA) Washed Ashore Art Exhibit

In 2018, artist Abigail Boroughs of Kauai Society of Artists (KSA) created the first “beach trash” exhibit on Kauai. The wildly popular event has lead to a partnership between the Kauai Chapter of Surfrider Foundation and KSA to bring the now annual “Washed Up” Marine Debris Art Exhibit to the community. This collaborative exhibition brings artists together from Kauai, Hawaii, and the mainland to create marine debris art for public viewing and plastic pollution awareness.

Emily Miller

Emily has spent her life on the coast, and all her artwork has its roots in her love of the sea. Since 2015 Emily has gathered fishing rope washed up on the beaches of Maine, Oregon, and Kauai to create a unique series of colorful baskets and sculptures. Rope for the Kauai basket series was acquired through a partnership with Surfrider Kauai.

Emily’s “Ghost Net Landscape” interactive installation invites local communities to join her in transforming thousands of pounds of reclaimed fishing gear into art. 

Participants are invited to envision and lead their own original projects within the installation, using the materials on hand and exhibiting their work in the space as shared inspiration. Contributions have included scripted performances, music, set design, costume design and wearable art, video art, photography, writing, weaving and knitting, functional design, cultural celebrations, and facilitated group play.

Learn more about this traveling installation at www.ghostnetart.com.

“Ghost Net Landscape”

Pam Longobardi

World renown artist, Pam Longobardi, recently partnered with Surfrider Kauai to acquire some marine plastic for her fascinating large-scale sculptures and other installations that are now exhibited on the mainland. In 2006, she created the Drifters Project to address global plastic pollution and a changing ocean. Longobardi’s work has been displayed in galleries and museums in the US, China, Italy, Spain, Finland, Poland, Japan, and has included commissions for Benziger Winery, the Hyatt Corporation, and the Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport just to name a few.


StudioKCA created a four-story skyscraper made out of blue and white marine plastic in the shape of a breaching whale. This whale was installed in one of the main canals of Bruges Belgium, arching over historic Jack Van Eyck Square. With the help of Surfrider Kauai and the Hawaii Wildlife Fund, five tons of plastic was removed from the ocean specifically for this colossal structure.