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Science Street Art - Unveiling Biases In Our Water Quality Data

February 27th, 2024 at Maybank Public House, Charleston, SC.

Jesseca Kusher, marine biologist, College of Charleston, Graduate Program in Marine Biology

Marielena Martinez, MFA, local teaching artist and STEAM educator with Cultivate SciArt

Even as they glisten, it's hard to know what lurks below the waters unless we take a closer look. Local scientists have been investigating Charleston’s waterways for decades. But Jesseca Kusher, a Master’s Candidate in the College of Charleston's Graduate Program in Marine Biology, is asking a new question: Are Lowcountry water quality studies targeting areas of socioeconomic diversity?  Where are water quality data being measured relative to where the public recreates, fishes, swims, and enjoys our waterways?  Toxic metals, microplastics, persistent chemicals, organic blooms and pathogens – Oh my!! Where are we detecting these contaminants? And what might be getting overlooked? As we think about these questions, teaching artist Marielena Martinez will give us an overview of street art’s history bringing community voices into the public’s eye. Martinez will guide participants in repurposing maps to share a message by adding gradients of colors and quick words and graphics.

We invite you – our community stakeholders – to be part of the discussion on the intersections of science, public use and policy-making with respect to our waterways. 

Meet Our Event Community Partners:

We are excited to have two great local organizations joining us for this event to share how they are improving access, knowledge and protection of our waterways, and opportunities for you to get involved! 

Charleston Waterkeeper’s mission is to protect and restore our waterways so we can fish and swim without harm from pollution. Their weekly monitoring of 20 sites across the Charleston estuary system informs the public, enables data-driven advocacy, prioritizes clean-up efforts and boots-on-the-water collaborations for local scientists. Meet your waterkeepers and ways to get involved.

Casual Crabbing With Tia has gained national acclaim for providing a unique lowcountry experience connecting individuals to the riches of our waterways. Tia Clark, a Charleston native, combined her passion for outdoors and marine life with generations of family experience crabbing and casting. Whether for fun or for food, participants also learn about water quality and conservation along the way.

->Get your tickets now for Cultivate SciArt Happy Hour - Water Quality Street Art

February 27th at 6pm (check-in starts 5:30pm) at Maybank Public House


->Don't forget to complete your Cultivate SciArt Community Card prior to attending.


Save the Date for Public Access Takeover! - March 28th

Dip your toes in the water at Higgins Pier and find new ways to engage with your local waterways! Kayak with guides at Charleston Kayak, learn about crabbing, fishing, and water quality from our friends at Casual Crabbing with Tia, and Youth 2 Ocean! For more info click here.


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