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 that they use to create their art.
Here are some of the amazing projects that we support:

Masks made by students from Kalaheo Elementary School


Monika Mira

Local artist Monika Mira has partnered with the Kauai Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation to create several pieces of marine debris art including sculptures, totems, and murals. Mira hopes to engage the whole community to participate in these projects. With a small grant from the Poipu Rotary, she has partnered with the Donovan ‘Ohana of Hawaii Volcanic Water, Anaina Hou Community Park, Lucid Publishing, and the Girl Scouts to begin making murals and totems that will be displayed on the Anaina Hou campus and other locations on Kauai. She will bring the art projects into public schools and summer programs, allowing children a chance to work on the art pieces.
Her vision for Kauai is to create several large-scale marine debris sculptures that will function as a means to educate visitors about marine debris and their choices that they can make to facilitate change. While Mira is actively creating marine debris art, these larger scale sculptures will take a broader community effort.
For sculptures, we are currently in need of some supplies and skilled volunteers. If you feel like you have the skills or supplies to help, please contact us. Here is what we are looking for:
  • Supplies
    • Hand tools – cordless and drivers
    • Cutting tools – i.e. jig saws, reciprocating saws, cutting wheels
    • Screws – 1/4×1/4″
    • Carpenters mesh
    • Buckets
    • Scrubbers
    • Acrylic latex caulk and caulking gun
    • Metal wire
    • Gloves
    • Welding Materials
    • Scrap Wood (good condition) – for building sorting tables
    • Paint
    • White Vinegar
    • Bronners soap
    • Space to work and store
  • Skills
    • Someone interested in sorting, testing, or cleaning plastics
    • Welders
    • Engineers
    • Carpenters

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. Rope for the Kauai basket series was acquired through a partnership with Surfrider Kauai. After a long process of cleaning, unwinding, and re-stitching, the natural wave of the unraveled rope dictates the shape each basket takes.
Emily’s artwork has been strongly tied to local conservation and recycling efforts for most of her career.  Her work in painting and sculpture explores the coast as a transition environment, revealing our place as part of a larger network of natural systems.
Emily’s artwork is available online at www.ejmillerfineart.com and in galleries around Kauai and Oregon.


StudioKCA is creating a four-story skyscraper made out of blue and white marine plastic in the shape of a breaching whale. This whale is being built in the U.S. for the Bruges Trienniel. When it is complete, it will be shipped to Bruges and installed in one of the main canals, 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. For more information check out their Kickstarter Campaign to learn more about the project.


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.

Angela Pozzi


Angela has always believed in “art for all” and hence helped spearhead many public art projects, community art and artist-in-residency programs wherever she went. Recycling and repurposing materials were part of her life from the beginning and was the basis for her first body of exhibited work entitled, “Undetermined Species”, a collection of coral reefs, and invented invertebrates made from recycled clothes and thrift store items. Her older work can still be viewed on www.seathingsart.com. In 2010, Angela found her life’s calling; to make Art to Save the Sea. With her creative problem-solving the non-profit Washed Ashore was born. Today over 10,000 volunteers have helped clean beaches and worked with Washed Ashore to process over 20 tons of debris into over 70 sculptures of the animals affected by plastic pollution.