Arts in Conservation Education

The Flotilla Project

The Flotilla project, carried out in 2004, underscores the interconnectivity of America’s waterways and the importance of water conservation. Created by artist Maura Bordes Cronin, the project was developed as a way to explore the potential of landscapes in transition. The project was created in partnership with Perquimans County, North Carolina, and was inspired by the county’s 100-mile-long shore line, most of which is undeveloped. Students from Hertford, North Carolina, constructed small sailboats and released them into different creeks throughout the county. Each school was represented by a different color sail. The Flotilla project enabled students to see and learn about the connectivity of the waterways and their importance to the county, the school, and even the students themselves.

Sailboats, constructed by students of Perquimans County, North Carolina, for the Flotilla project, were released into the waterways. Each school was represented by a different color sail. As each school set their sailboats into the water, the different color sails merged illustrating the connectivity of the waterways. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service

Maura Bordes Cronin, creator and artist of the Flotilla project, works with a student to build a sailboat. The sailboats were then released into the waterways in Perquimans County, North Carolina, to illustrate the connectivity and importance of creeks and rivers. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service