The Beacon

Oceana Visits Efest

This past weekend, Oceana visited central Florida to participate in Efest at the Sarasota Polo Club. This free “Green Living Music & Arts Festival” was a chance for us to meet with a progressive swath of the Sunshine State and to gain traction on our campaign targeting Publix and other grocery stores to post informational signs about mercury at their seafood counters.

Setting up a booth at the Publix-sponsored event, we collected 400 petition signatures demanding that the southern grocery store chain post the FDA’s advisory about mercury contamination in seafood. This advisory, which warns women of childbearing age and children to avoid or limit certain types of fish because of mercury contamination, has been posted by many prominent grocery stores—among them Kroger, Whole Foods and Safeway.

In addition to furthering our campaign goals, I spent some time checking out the other vendors and organizations, listening to some decent covers on the main music stage and taking in some “Eco Art.” Most enjoyably, the art pieces—which were made of found materials or recycled goods—had a definite ocean slant.

Several works highlighted the plight of sea turtles, focusing on the plastic trash that is often mistaken as food by endangered and threatened sea turtles like the Kemp’s Ridley and Loggerhead. Please enjoy this slideshow I put together that displays some of the work.


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