The Reclamation Project explores our ability to coexist with the natural world. It reminds us of what our community looked like before all the concrete was poured.
--Xavier Cortada, artist
This participatory eco-art project was launched by Miami
artist Xavier Cortada on Earth Day 2006, during the opening of a
month-long installation at the Bass Museum of Art (see archives). In this inaugural
year, 2,500 red mangrove seedlings were adopted by retail businesses across South Beach. In
subsequent years, volunteers have collected seedlings from various
Miami-Dade County locations where they would otherwise have perished
and distributed them to retail and commercial businesses in South
Beach, schools and the science museum.
Annually, the Reclamation Project plants thousands of mangroves on our
bay, rebuilding ecosystems above and below the water line.
Mangrove "Reclamation" and Reforestation Every year, Reclamation Project volunteers collect mangrove seedlings from nature preserves and distribute them across the community, symbolically "reclaiming" urban areas that once flourished with mangrove forests.
Mangroves are important for they create the interface between land and water where marine life takes hold. Small fish find refuge from predators in their intricate roots, which also serve to protect the shoreline from erosion during hurricanes. Biscayne Bay was once lined with mangroves. Today, there are few places where mangrove seedlings can take root on Biscayne Bay because it has been barricaded by man-made barriers such as sea walls and development.
The Reclamation Project installation at the Miami Science Museum displays over 1,100 mangrove seedlings in clear, water-filled cups. They will grow there for a year until they are ready to be reforested. At that time, another 1,100 seedlings will be nurtured in this re-permanent nursery.
These Red Mangrove seedlings, as well as those displayed in retail locations across South Beach, will be planted by volunteers along Biscayne Bay.
** CLICK HERE to download Coastal Reforestation PDF
Several South Florida schools have joined in the coastal reforestation effort. To bring the Reclamation Project's mangrove installations to your school (Miami-Dade County only), please contact:
Lisa Krimsky, Ph.D.
Florida SeaGrant Agent
4600 Rickenbacker Causeway
Miami, FL 33149