From puppet shows for children age 3 to third grade in conjunction with UNCW students, to traveling the rounds
in the art and educational world, Monteleone is forging ahead, dovetailing arts and science into new territories. Her
organization is even paying fishermen in North Carolina to fish for plastic and for the digestive tracts of the larger spe-cies
“I caught the wave as it was forming, and I’ve been riding it ever since,” Monteleone says. “We started with noth-ing.
This community took this tiny entity — this tiny pulse coming from UNCW — and took it to where it is.”
Hurricane Florence was another current that shaped the direction of Plastic Ocean Project and Monteleone’s tra-jectory.
The NC State Extension and the Alliance for Cape Fear Trees got involved with her in a new initiative to
fight against sea trash by planting more trees.
“When storms recede, they take the trash and debris with them,” she says. “Trees slow down storm damage. But
we lost a lot of old-growth trees in 2018. It’s really important to keep them in the ground. We came up with a
way to take on both issues at the same time. For every 25 pounds of trash removed, we’ll plant one tree. The N.C.
Wildlife Federation is now helping us take this program statewide.”
and nearly 100
trees at the
15, 2019 as
part of the
WBM march 2020