NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Nauticus has partnered with several local organizations to raise awareness about pollution with large public art installations.

National Geographic’s newest exhibition, “Planet or Plastic?,” is making its U.S. museum debut at Nauticus through April 25. 

The exhibition features more than 70 award-winning images that showcase the perils of plastic waste on our oceans and waterways.

One of these new installations is a public art project created by AskHRGreen and displayed along the Elizabeth River Trail featuring a series of foreboding cigarette butt sculptures. The installation is meant to represent the overabundance of cigarette butts littered around the world.

Nauticus has also partnered with Keep Suffolk Beautiful, Suffolk Art League, and Suffolk Public Schools to display two large-scale sculptures created entirely of thousands of pieces of balloon debris found on Virginia beaches,

The installation is meant to call attention to Virginia’s recently approved legislation banning the intentional release of all non-biodegradable balloons. 

Local student participants in the Sail Nauticus Academy have also joined forces with Keep Norfolk Beautiful to create an enormous sculpture depicting a nature setting, made from more than 20 pounds of collected trash and debris which is currently displayed inside the Planet or Plastic? exhibit.

Sail Nauticus students have also been collecting more than 100 pounds of debris discarded in the Elizabeth River, including a bicycle. 

This spring, students will construct a sailboat from the trash and sail out on the tiver. 

Visitors can explore National Geographic’s “Planet or Plastic?” and local community art pieces now through April 25, 2021.

General Admission is $15.95 plus tax for adults and $11.50 plus tax for children. Nauticus is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.