‘Plastic is Forever’ designer, conservation advocate to speak at FAU Harbor Branch June 8

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — “Every single action causes an effect, and every single person can make a difference.” This is the premise behind the work of award-winning fashion designer Barbara de Vries.

This effect is not only evident in the 10 million pounds of plastic that ends up in the oceans each year, but also in what we do about this manmade environmental scourge, said de Vries, who has used her stature as a designer to create awareness of plastic pollution of the oceans by incorporating beach plastic in her designs and her art.

In recognition of World Oceans Day, FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI) will welcome de Vries for a special event on Wednesday, June 8 at the Johnson Education Center Auditorium, 5600 U.S. 1 North, Fort Pierce.

The event will begin at 5:30 p.m., when de Vries will discuss her work and participate in a panel discussion on the dangers of plastic in the ocean. A cocktail reception will immediately follow. The lecture and panel discussion are free and open to the public, and no registration is required.

Treasure Coast residents also are encouraged to clean up their favorite beach that day to support the World Oceans Day initiative, which is the recognized day of ocean celebration and action for the United Nations.

The theme for 2016 is “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet,” and individuals and organizations worldwide are promoting prevention of plastic ocean pollution through special events such as the one being held at HBOI.

Best known for creating the CK brand for Calvin Klein in the 90s, de Vries most recently won the Barneys New York Best New Sustainable Design Competition. Her work has been featured in Vogue, The New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, Ecouterre, as well as many other notable publications. She has given a TED talk and is featured in the Sundance documentary, One Beach. A portfolio of de Vrie’s work can be found at https://barbara-devries-iyg6.squarespace.com/

For more information on the World Oceans Day events, contact the Ocean Discovery Visitor’s Center at (772) 242-2293 or tcamargo@fau.edu, or visit www.fau.edu/hboi.

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