Famed ‘Deck the Chairs’ octopus sculpture gets a-maze-ing new purpose

Organizers raise awareness about the impact of single-use plastic with sculpture for final encore

Volunteers are preparing for a long-time tradition in Jacksonville Beach. They're setting up the impressive displays ahead of Deck the Chairs. This is the last year Beaches Go Green will be part of the event.

Beaches Go Green is preparing its “Deck The Chairs” event at Jacksonville Beach one final time. After this year, it will go into the hands of a new sponsor.

Organizers are building a new waste sculpture for the event to raise awareness about the impact of single-use plastic on the environment.

While this is its last year hosting the event — the organization says it is going to keep educating the community.

“Now I think it’s time to move on and do something new and equally impactful,” said Founder Beaches Go Green Anne Marie Moquin.

For the final encore, the nonprofit is transforming its famed octopus waste sculpture into a maze.

GF Default - Beaches Go Green founder hopes plastic octopus will continue to spread environmental awareness

“Our goal was to make it a fun maze and lead people through while at the same time showing off holiday beauty but teaching them a message about the environment and how they can do better for their own health.”

The octopus sculpture will be donated to Mayport Middle School this year. Its deeper message about plastic waste will be on display and transformed into a garden.

Volunteers said creating the masterpiece was hard work, but that it was worth every second.

“It makes you feel good...you can’t get your message out without teaching people what it does to the planet, how it affects them, and what can happen in the future,” said volunteer Morgan Eaton.

“I think they’re extremely impactful to be able to look around and see thousands of bottles and see how that plastic adds up,” volunteer Hannah Favorite said.

The display will feature over 20,000 pieces of waste that were all collected along the coast.

The finished project will be on display from Nov. 24 to Jan. 1.

About the Authors:

This native of the Big Apple joined the News4Jax team in July 2021.