MOUNT PLEASANT — A 9-foot-tall pelican sculpture covered with marine debris will be unveiled Wednesday afternoon at Shem Creek Park as part of Fleet Week.
To bring the frame of the big bird to life, Charleston County School of the Arts students used junk collected in waterways during the 2011 Beach Sweep.
On Monday, the pelican rested on its side in a trailer at the town maintenance shed on Six-Mile Road where cars and trucks are serviced. The beak was decorated with orange Gatorade caps and netting. A white flip-flop and black shoe sole were attached to the body.
Eastern brown pelicans are common throughout coastal South Carolina. They are one of the largest birds found on the East Coast of the United States and the only pelicans in the world that are not white. The first eastern brown pelican was described in 1789 and came from Charleston Harbor, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.
Fleet Week includes Saturday night dancing on Memorial Waterfront Park pier. The Blessing of the Fleet, which draws thousands, will be Sunday at the park and includes music and food.
Last Sunday, on Earth Day, volunteers scouring the creek collected 64 bags of marsh trash. Tires, scrap metal and a car seat were among the items fished out of the creek. “A lot of it was just Styrofoam,” said Guinn Garrett, a town environmental official.
A flotilla of 25 kayakers and more than 50 people joined in the effort. The town, the Mount Pleasant Land Conservancy, the state DNR and Mount Pleasant Waterworks participated. In last year’s Beach Sweep, 38,000 pounds of trash were collected by 3,000 volunteers along the state coast.
The debris-covered pelican sculpture will be unveiled at 5 p.m.