Unseasonably warm summer-like weather provided a perfect evening at Coronado Yacht Club for Emerald Keepers’ inaugural fundraiser. Guests gathering for The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Splash & Art Auction were treated to a fabulous art collection curated by local artist Teresa Espaniola.
“Teresa had the vision to host a marine debris fundraiser,” said Amy Steward, Emerald Keepers’ founder and president. “She solicited donations from artists and worked with CoSA art teacher Karrie Jackson to create artistic pieces rendered from plastic trash removed from Coronado’s beaches.”
The evening was all about plastics. Art and plastic debris hung from fish bait netting; plastic centerpieces illuminated by fairy lights and made by Heather Frank decorated every table; and plastic detritus served as drink tickets. All the plastic had been collected from Coronado beaches and cleaned. Introducing the guest of honor, Emcee John Weisbarth, drew loud applause as he reminded attendees, “We are here tonight to shine a light on the catastrophic impact of plastics in our ocean and celebrate Emerald Keepers and all they do to make Coronado a model city.”
The guest of honor, Captain Charles Moore, is credited with discovering the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 1997. In his brief comments to the assembled guests, CAPT Moore highlighted his concern for the oceans by observing, “Sadly, following my generation, future generations will not have the opportunity I had to swim in an ocean unpolluted by plastics.”
Coronado High School graduate (2016) DaniRose Hill spoke about her experience as a surfer. “As someone who grew up surfing our local breaks, I dream of a world where I can surf without trash drifting past me in the lineup, where I never again mistake a sunken grocery bag for a jellyfish, and where I don’t have to shove plastic trash into the sleeve of my wetsuit until I can find a trash can on the beach.” She asked the community to support Emerald Keepers’ mission of making Coronado a model city of sustainability.
In addition to the debris gallery, the auction included art donated by fourteen local artists along with other donations. “It warms my heart to see how generous everyone was in wanting to support the Emerald Keepers’ cause,” Steward effused.
Kicking the event off in style, VIP guests were treated to a pre-party aboard two Coronado yachts. And throughout the evening friends old and new gathered to enjoy drinks and appetizers, listen to Matt Heinecke on guitar, bid on art, and share common cause to care for our oceans.
Sponsors included EDCO; Home and Harbor Interiors by Jennifer Hanson, Heather Frank & Elena Haley; Julia Elassaad, and Coldwell Banker West.