For Immediate Release, August 19, 2019

Contact:

Roger Peet, (503) 753-7027, toosphexy@gmail.com

Seward Endangered Species Mural to Be Celebrated Aug. 21

SEWARD, Alaska— A new endangered species mural outside Seward’s Temple Studios will be celebrated on Wednesday, Aug. 21. The Center for Biological Diversity, Blackwater Railroad Company, Puffin Foundation and Mermaid Festival are hosting the event.

The new mural features the spectacled eider and North Pacific right whale and was painted by artists Roger Peet and Tricia Tripp. Measuring 15 feet tall and 105 feet long, the artwork is number 22 in the Center's national Endangered Species Mural Project.

“These two species embody the beautiful and bountiful waters that surround Alaska, but also represent the sad loss of biodiversity that has occurred in these waters,” said artist Roger Peet, the endangered species mural project coordinator. “The right whale and the eider have dramatically decreased in number and now survive in just a tiny fraction of their former ranges. We hope this mural inspires actions to prevent them from slipping away.”

The celebration will include refreshments and feature Seward band Tyson and Company, along with Asheville, N.C. band Hearts Gone South.

What: Endangered Species Mural Project public celebration with refreshments and music; artists and local allies available for interviews

When: Wednesday, Aug. 21, 6-8 p.m.

Where: Temple Studios, 417 5th St., Seward, Alaska 99664

Species Background
Spectacled eiders are large sea ducks that spend summers on boggy tundra and winters on remote pack ice in the Bering Sea. Even their bills have feathers to help them stay warm. Adept divers, they eat bottom-dwelling mollusks and crustaceans. To attract mates, the males emit a low call that sounds like a foghorn. The birds are threatened by oil and gas development, climate change, poisoning from lead bullets and Trump administration rollbacks of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Alaska is home to about 3,000 nesting pairs of these secretive marine birds.

North Pacific right whales are the most endangered whales in the world. Weighing in at 100 tons, these playful giants strain large volumes of ocean water to gleen krill and small fish. Due to historical commercial hunting followed by more recent illegal hunting, only about 100 North Pacific right whales are estimated to exist. They remain threatened by entanglement in fishing gear and marine garbage, ship strikes, climate change and ocean noise.

Mural Project Background
The Endangered Species Mural Project has now installed 22 murals in public spaces around the country. The project aims to celebrate local endangered species and encourage people to make connections between conservation and community strength.

Other murals already in place include the mountain caribou in Sandpoint, Idaho; the Arctic grayling in Butte, Mont.; the streaked horned lark in Portland, Ore.; and the marbled murrelet in Arcata, Calif.

Photos are available for media use.

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Roger Peet / Center for Biological Diversity

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.