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MDC’s Acclaimed Earth Ethics Institute Partners with Miami Science Museum

MDC students will help create art and build a new mangrove colony
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Miami, September 20, 2012 - This semester, a new collaboration between Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Earth Ethics Institute (EEI) and the Miami Science Museum will allow MDC students and faculty to participate in the Reclamation Project, a hands-on eco-art project launched in 2006 by local artist Xavier Cortada. The partnership aims to engage students in mangrove ecology, civic engagement, and social transformation.    

The Reclamation Project exhibitions began in art museums but now contain more than 1,100 mangrove seedlings on exhibit housed at the Miami Science Museum’s Wildlife Center, as well as those displayed in retail locations across South Beach. The seedlings will be planted along Biscayne Bay, where a new mangrove colony will eventually rebuild ecosystems both above and below the water line.

MDC students first learn about mangrove ecology from Miami Science Museum’s Reclamation Project Director Fernando Bretos. On Saturday, Sept. 22, students will collect mangrove propagules, or buds, at Matheson Hammock, and then install and care for them as part of the eco-art exhibits at each MDC campus.

Following the installation of the exhibits later this month, Cortada will discuss with students and faculty the interconnection of science, art and civic engagement that makes up his eco-art. Finally, students will disassemble the exhibits and on Dec. 1 will assist in coastal reforestation efforts by planting the seedlings at a mangrove restoration site along Biscayne Bay.

Kendall Campus professor Jose Guntin first explored the possibility of his students taking part in the project. Now under the direction of the EEI, it has grown into a college-wide initiative. Eco-art installations will be exhibited at the Kendall, Wolfson, InterAmerican, Hialeah, and Medical Campuses during the 2012 fall semester.


For more information about the Reclamation Project at MDC, please contact Earth Ethics Institute Director Colleen Ahern-Hettich at 305-237-3796, or visit


Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

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