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Endangered World: Biscayne National Park Installation
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Why You Should Get Involved

Posted By Xavier Cortada, Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Updated: Thursday, November 5, 2009

Endangered World: 

Biscayne National Park Installation

About | Participate | Blog | Exhibit Info

Why You Should Get Involved

This is a great opportunity to be a part of a participatory art project that raises awareness about climate change and the subsequent threats to biodiversity. You will be joined by hundreds of likeminded South Floridians of all ages, occupations, and nationalities, standing with them to tackle global climate change and to commit to action. This eco-art intervention aimed to connect South Floridians with each other and, by connecting each person to a struggling species, the natural world. 

(Left: Xavier Cortada's Endangered World: South Pole Installation, 2007).

Make a Flag, Make a Pledge

Make a Flag

By applying to adopt an animal, you are committing to making a flag for that animal. Miami artist Xavier Cortada is currently going through the process of drawing each and every one of these endangered species. As an adoptee, you will make your own special flag displaying an image of your adopted animal.

Here are the rules:

  1. Each flag must include an image of the animal, its name and the degree on which it struggles for survival.
  2. You may also wish to write your ecoaction (e.g., "I pledge to plant 33 native trees.").
  3. Your flags will ultimately be displayed outdoors in Biscayne National Park, and must be able to withstand the elements. Therefore, washable paint or markers are not allowed. Make sure you choose permanent materials for your image.
  4. The content of each flag must be appropriate for public display.
  5. All flags must be completed and delivered to the park by January 31, 2010.
  6. Upon submittal, the flags become property of the National Park Service.

Don’t worry if you are not an artist. We will be holding optional workshops in the weeks before the final flag dedication ceremony. These workshops will be led by Arielle Angel, a local artist and the Project Manager for the Endangered World Project. Arielle will teach you several creative techniques you can use to render your adopted animal including stencil-making, Xerox transfers, and traditional painting and drawing techniques. These workshops will also be a good opportunity to meet other participants, exchange ideas and start working on your flag.  Scroll down for schedules and more information about workshops.


Pledge an "Eco-action"

On your application to adopt an animal, you will be asked to make a pledge to engage in one "eco-action" that can limit the effects of climate change.

Think about the factors that threaten your animal’s survival. Since many of these animals are suffering on account of global climate change, your action may be aimed at reducing your carbon footprint—making an effort to ride a bicycle to work, or make your home more energy-efficient.

There is no action too big or too small. If you’ve never taken steps in your personal life to fighting climate change, then baby steps are welcome. We encourage you to aim high, but whatever it is, just make sure you can do it. Big projects are grand, but they don’t mean anything if they don’t get done. Make sure to make a pledge that is not going to fall by the wayside.


Document and connect

Document your experience following through on your pledged "eco-action." 

Write us a description of your eco-action and send us pictures, or other forms of documentation. Your "eco-actions” can also be posted up on the project blog (click here), where you can also see what others are doing. 

You will also have the option of participating in a closing ceremony at Biscayne National Park on May 1st, 2010.  This event will coincide with National Geographic’s BioBlitz event. The event, to take place in May, will give you the opportunity to present your flag and your project as the park celebrates its biodiversity.


How to Adopt

You can apply to adopt an animal (click here). We strongly encourage a nominal donation of $5 per flag to cover the cost of the 

flag itself, and the materials needed for installation.  Please make your donation by mailing a check (write "Endangered World: Biscayne National Park" on the Memo Line) to:

South Florida National Parks Trust
1390 South Dixie Highway
Coral Gables, FL 33146

Tel. 305.665.4769

You can also make a donation online at


Scheduled workshops (locations and times to be announced) will take place between December 19th and January 24th. 

Link to Blog

 Please Click here to post information (e.g., eco-pledge, pictures of flag and eco-action, name of "adopted" species and longitude) on the participants' blog.

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FIU College of Architecture + The Arts

Xavier Cortada
Florida International University
College of Architecture + The Arts
420 Lincoln Road, Suite 430
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Xavier Cortada's participatory art practice is based at Florida International University.


 Reclamation Project

 NYFA sponsored-artist participatory eco-art projects


Native Flags   






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