Chalk art sends environmental message to beachgoers

23 January 2015

Mosman Council is using chalk art along the Balmoral Beach promenade to deliver important environmental messages to beachgoers to help keep waterways and beaches clean.

Chalk artwork

The mural-style pavement work, which depicts a family picnic that leaves a bitter taste for the marine environment with discarded plastic plates, utensils and bottles, has been created by an artist using a durable chalk mixture which could last up to a month.

“Mosman Council is supportive of arts and creativity in the community and is receptive to people working with us to enhance the public domain,” Director Environment and Planning Craig Covich said.

“While we need to ensure that public art is sensitive and responsive to community sentiment, this project is not only visually appealing to beachgoers, it also gives them clear and important reminders about their role in caring for the local environment.”

The creative approach to environmental messaging follows last January’s 3D chalk drawings which featured a range of litter and its impacts on marine and birdlife.

Mosman has 24km of coastline, including beaches and bays, which are affected by discarded rubbish, including plastic waste and cigarette butts.

Plastic items that are littered instead of being disposed of properly are a major problem in the marine environment, entangling birds and fish or being swallowed by them.

Most discarded cigarette butts in Mosman enter storm water systems and are flushed into the harbour releasing toxic chemicals into the waterway and are often ingested by birds and marine life causing severe distress or death.

The art campaign comes ahead of the 25th Clean Up Australia Day which will be held on Sunday 1 March. Last year’s effort saw more than 572,000 volunteers around the country clean up nearly 16,000 tonnes of rubbish.