Nova Scotia

100 in 1 Day event to recreate iconic Wave sculpture with marine trash

A group of Dalhousie University students have been collecting marine waste for several months, aiming to build a replica of the well-known sculpture The Wave on the Halifax waterfront.

Halifax's iconic The Wave sculpture being recreated using ocean garbage

Organizers Anika Riopel and Cameron Christensen of the Wave of Waste project pose with some marine garbage they collected. (Shaina Luck/CBC)

A group of Dalhousie University students has been collecting marine waste for several months, aiming to build a replica of the well-known sculpture The Wave on the Halifax waterfront.

The group is stockpiling some of the waste at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.

The rest of the waste will be coming from beach cleanups being held this weekend.

The students estimate it will take at least 30 large garbage bags of trash to cover The Wave framework.

Organizer Anika Riopel said it was shocking to be able to call up a beach cleanup crew and easily get that much waste.

Their inspiration. The Wave was created by Donna Hiebert and now sits on the Halifax boardwalk. (CBC)

"That's incredible that one beach cleanup can generate that much garbage," she said.

Cameron Christensen of the Wave of Waste project says shortly after the project began earlier this year, a pygmy sperm whale washed up on McNabs Island with a full belly of plastic.

"That speaks very directly to our cause," he said.

The project is meant to make people think about the amount of plastic garbage in the world's oceans.

"It's important not to be aggressive and confrontational so we wanted to do something fun, creative," Riopel said.

"Something that would draw attention to it and generate a conversation and get people thinking about but not wagging fingers in people's faces and saying, 'You guys are all bad.' Because we're all part of it."

Riopel says they've been receiving a lot of help from supporters. Even Donna Hiebert, the sculptor behind the original The Wave, is behind the group's idea.

"When I heard about it I said, 'Yeah, totally, do it.' Because for me, The Wave really does belong to the citizens of Halifax and HRM. So I feel really good about it," Hiebert said.   

"I think it's wonderful that The Wave inspired them as a way of educating people about marine waste." 

The project is part of the "100 in 1 Day" event scheduled for Saturday. 

According to the website, the idea of the event is for hundreds of people to unite the same day, each "taking one small action to improve their city." 

When that event is over the Wave of Waste will become a mobile educational sculpture. Eventually it will be recycled.