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Hampton Waterways Restoration Project Art Auction Fundraiser and Exhibit

COMMUNITY CENTERClean Water & WaterwaysNov 16, 2015Debbie Blanton

Author: Debbie Blanton

Courtesy of West Mercury Center for the Arts

Courtesy of West Mercury Center for the Arts
A small portion of the local beach trash picked up by Mara Yoko. If you think the beaches are doing fine…look again.

Hampton Waterways Restoration Project (HWRP), a volunteer committee from the city of Hampton’s Clean City Commission, is hosting its first Art Auction Fundraiser and Exhibit at the West Mercury Center for the Arts located on 2525 West Mercury Blvd, Hampton, VA, 23666.

The Art Auction and exhibit will showcase art made from and inspired by trash found in waterways in the City of Hampton. The exhibit’s opening reception was on November 7 at 6 pm and the turn out was great. 80 plus citizens and artists joined in celebrating our waterways and supporting the art that showcases the beauty and pollution found in the waterways. The exhibit will run through November 21 where a closing reception will be held from  3 pm-7 pm featuring refreshments and music. This exhibit aims to raise awareness about the beauty and importance of improving waterways in Hampton. For the closing reception there is a suggested donation of $5.00 upon entrance. Auction proceeds will serve as seed funds for future projects that support making Hampton’s waterways more swimmable and fishable.

Waterways from the City of Hampton are connected to the Chesapeake Bay watershed, an integral part of the human health and wealth of 17 million people. According to the largest independent conservation organization, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation,”…many have questioned whether or not the efforts to clean polluted waterways are all for naught…if, in the end, the work for clean water will be more expensive than what the resource we save is actually worth. However, after decades of lost jobs, poor health, and dirty water as a result of the Bay’s degradation, it’s become quite clear: It is more expensive—both for the economy and the human condition—not to save and restore our extraordinary waters.”

Courtesy of West Mercury Center for the Arts

Courtesy of West Mercury Center for the Arts
Artist Larry VanOver with trash collected from Buckroe, Grand view and Ft Monroe beaches in less than 6 months.

For three years and counting, HWRP has worked in the City of Hampton on various solo and collaborative projects with the goal of improving Hampton’s waterways through education, advocacy, public awareness, tree restoration, water quality monitoring, litter cleanups and more. “We are always looking for different ways to connect with people about the importance of fostering healthy waterways in Hampton.  This year we are debuting the Art Auction to show citizens both the beauty of our waterways, and also how our waterways struggle with pollution.” says HWRP Chair, Claire Neubert.

For questions or more information about the HWRP Art Auction Fundraiser, please contact Mara Yoko, Art Auction Chair, at or 757-288-1180.

To learn more about HWRP and how you can get involved, please contact HWRP Chair, Claire Neubert at or Hampton Clean City Commission staff member, Cris Ausink at or 757-727-1158.

Hampton Waterways Restoration Project (HWRP) is a volunteer committee started in 2013 through the Hampton Clean City Commission with the mission to restore and maintain clean waterways in Hampton that are swimmable and fishable. Through community cleanup initiatives, advocacy and educational outreach, the committee works to change citizen’s attitudes and behaviors to contribute cleaner and healthier waterways in Hampton.

 Blog post contributed by Debbie Blanton, Clean City Coordinator for the City of Hampton.