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From Abbeville to Dubai. The art of fighting against plastic pollution according to Steve Stievenart

This is the translation of a French article published in the "Journal d'Abbeville".

From Abbeville to Dubai. Athlete of the extreme, accomplished artist and nature lover, the Abbevillois Stève Stievenart has created a foundation to fight against plastic pollution that destroys the marine environment. He travels the four corners of the planet to alert the whole world.

Athletic and artistic qualities. The sea, he loves it. He swims there, he enjoys bathing with Dune, his faithful companion on all fours. It is Steve Stievenart, an Abbevillois now living in Dubai who has created a foundation to fight against plastic pollution in the marine environment. His fight: change mentalities to ensure that today's children are not the adults of tomorrow who throw plastic waste at sea. And to carry out its mission, Steve uses its athletic and artistic qualities. Returning regularly to Abbeville and the Bay of Somme that he particularly likes, this ardent defender of nature explains his approach, his fight, his hope of transmitting a better world to future generations.

And it is in the park of Bouvaque accompanied by his dog Dune that Steve Stievenart gave us an appointment. A "remarkable" site for the Abbevillois where everything started. "When I was 7 years old, my father (car champion Gilles Stievenart) gave me a camera and I started doing my first pictures here at La Bouvaque. I loved doing macro, discover nature. "

A photo, a click. Steve Stievenart then worked with Picardie Nature. "I studied seals in the Bay of Somme, a real double passion with animals and the sea. "Since then, the Abbevillois has traveled the planet to raise awareness of the danger that lies before us: discover an elephant, a marine iguana or a giant Galapagos turtle may not be possible in the future. And when Steve announces the numbers that threaten our oceans, it's cold in the back: "6.5 million waste is dumped into the oceans each year. 1.5 million birds and marine mammals die every year of plastic ingestion ... "For the Abbevillois" it is really time to change. So I created this foundation to alert the world about plastic pollution, raise awareness of its consequences and find solutions to prevent it. "

And what Steve is afraid of is seeing this terrible 7th continent grow: "a plastic monster of 1.6 million km² that floats in the Pacific Ocean, up to 10m deep ..." A foundation based on four axes: environmental awareness, art around plastic, sports challenges and scientific research.

A swimmer of the extreme, an artist and adept at the scientific aspect, Stève Stievenart combines passion and profession to succeed in his mission. "When I come to the Bay of Somme, I pick up all the garbage I find and there are many. Between the Hourdel and Cayeux-sur-Mer, on 5 km of beach, I collected tubes of methadone, ventoline, efferalgan, lysopain ... and 131 lighters! "

Now living in Dubai, Steve has received the valuable support of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoun, Crown Prince of Dubai. "He is thoroughly in ecology like me. Passionate about the sport and a great athlete himself, he is committed to supporting me for my future long distance races in open water swimming. "

And to sensitize the youngest to this scourge that spreads like a stain of oil, Steve Stievenart goes to the schools: "I propose to the children to make works of art with the various plastic objects picked up on the beach during school outings. Children are the victims of a pollution of which they are not responsible. ". Projects to save the marine environment, Steve does not lack. The hundreds of objects collected unfortunately represent only a drop of water in these polluted oceans. But a drop that could turn into a wave if he manages to change attitudes, behavior. At the end of our enriching interview with Stève, we cross between land and water with the Bouvaque of the swans and ducklings. Stève immortalizes this moment of a photo by releasing "we never enough aware of the chance to see that" before picking up a little further "forgotten" bags by walkers little conscientious. A gesture, a phrase that perfectly summarizes the mission that gave this lover of nature that makes him well during his fantastic encounters around the world.

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