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UNB Art Centre celebrates World Water Day

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Apr 15, 2019

Category: UNB Fredericton

The University of New Brunswick’s Art Centre is celebrating World Water Day with a number of events for the community.

“Whoever you are, wherever you are, water is your human right.” These are the words that describe this year’s World Water Day theme and Sustainable Development Goal 6: Water for all by 2030.

World Water Day is an international day of action that recognizes the billions of people who continue to live without safe drinking water. It’s also a day of education, where people can come together to share their stories and understand the layers of discrimination and inequality that exist when marginalized groups attempt to access safe water sources.

The UNB Art Centre has observed World Water Day with special exhibits and programs since 2011. This year, the focus is on plastic and its impact on water systems like oceans, rivers and streams. In response to this important cause, the Art Centre has invited members of the public to attend events that coincide with their World Water Day exhibit, Cascade: our plastic; our planet; our choice. This exhibit, which features a waterfall made of plastic, opened on March 22 and runs until June 7 in the East Gallery in Memorial Hall.

The events that coincide with this exhibit include a free lecture and panel discussion on plastics in the environment. In the lecture, Krista Beardy, a MSc graduate student at UNB, will discuss her research on the presence of microplastics in clams and other mollusks in the Bay of Fundy. This lecture will take place on Tuesday, April 16, at 7 p.m. in Memorial Hall.

The panel discussion, scheduled for Thursday, April 25, at 7 p.m. in Memorial Hall, will consider approaches to reducing and recycling, as well as issues like banning the use of plastic bags. Panelists include:

  • Brad Janes, manager of public relations and education at the Fredericton Regional Solid Waste Commission;
  • Charlene Mayes, professor of environmental biology at UNB;
  • David Coon, member of the Green Party and Fredericton South MLA
  • Jeff Carr, minister of environment and local government and New Maryland-Sunbury MLA
  • Kelly Green, a student at St. Thomas University and member of STU Sustainability;
  • Pierre Landry, general manager of Encorp Atlantic; and
  • Stephen Chase, chair of public safety and environment for the City of Fredericton.

“Every day we hear news stories about whales, seabirds and other creatures being washed ashore tangled in plastic, their bellies filled with the plastic we use once then discard,” said Marie E. Maltais, director of the UNB Art Centre. “The thing is that’s not just happening out there, it’s happening here. That’s one of the reasons for this exhibit and for these talks. Krista Beardy’s research shows that every single mollusk she examined contained bits of plastic. Not only is plastic ubiquitous and obnoxious, we can’t get rid of it. It just continues to break down into smaller and smaller pieces of microplastic.”

Media contact: Angie Deveau

Photo credit: Lori Quick. Features Cascade: our plastic; our planet; our choice exhibit.