The Reclamation Project aims to remind us how South Florida was like before being urbanized, as it explores our ability to coexist with the natural world.
The Reclamation Project, housed at the Miami Science Museum, contains over 1,100 mangrove seedlings currently on exhibit in the Wildlife Center. While at the museum, the maturing seedlings inspire all of us to become a part of this growing reforestation campaign. Afterwards, these seedlings, as well as those displayed in retail locations across South Beach, will be planted along Biscayne Bay, where a new mangrove colony will eventually rebuild ecosystems both above and below the water line.
On Earth Day 2006, Miami artist Xavier Cortada launched this eco-art intervention during the opening of a month-long installation at the Bass Museum of Art. During its inaugural year, 2,500 red mangrove seedlings were adopted by retail businesses across South Beach.
In subsequent years, volunteers collected seedlings from various Miami-Dade County locations where they would otherwise have perished and distributed them to retail and commercial businesses in South Beach. These seedlings, displayed in clear, water-filled cups later "reclaimed” the island where they thrived just a few decades ago.