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Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
From left, Ali Stephens, Afton Harding, and Heidi Bischoff paint a mural to raise awareness about our oceans at artist Elaine Harding's home in Salt Lake City on Saturday, June 5, 2010.

SALT LAKE CITY — International model Ali Stephens is throwing a party for World Ocean Day — in land-locked Utah.

Stephens, a Salt Lake City native, and her mother, Julie, are organizing Ride the Wave, an event celebrating conservation of oceans. The mix of art, culture, fashion and music gets under way at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Fairmont Skate Park, 2200 S. 900 East.

"It's a celebration of World Ocean Day, trying to bring consciousness to the fact that, without our oceans, we can't breathe," Julie Stephens said. "We need them to save life — not only in the oceans but on land."

For the event, Ali Stephens and her friends and family have painted a temporary mural depicting the oceans under the direction of local artist Elaine S. Harding, Ali Stephens' aunt. The mural will be unveiled during the event, which is being sponsored by international nonprofit organization Oceana.

"I was inspired to do this design by a piece of fabric that my brother brought me from Japan," Harding said. "I wanted to do something that was very much about motion and the movement of waves."

Swirls of green and blue representing the waves of the oceans are split by swirls of orange brown and black — the pollution that is poisoning the world's oceans.

"(The event) is an opportunity for us to become educated about our oceans, about oil drilling and the big spill and what will happen to our oceans because of that," Julie Stephens said.

Ali Stephens and her agent were brainstorming about something they could do to raise awareness on World Ocean Day.

"We came up with an idea to do it in Utah since it's land locked so nobody thinks it matters as much," Ali Stephens said.

A skate exhibition with professional skateboarders Christian Sereika, Christian Bourne and Tyson Bowerbanks will open the event at 6:30 p.m.

"Ali called it Ride the Wave because we are a land locked-state, and we don't have an ocean," Julie Stephens said. "But with the skaters riding the skate bowls and the ramps at the skate park, it's like surfers riding in the ocean."

"Basically, riding the wave is like riding the wave of conservation," Ali Stephens added.

The event also will feature live music from Broke City, Jahnre and Sober Down.

During the event, Oceana officials will explain what Utahns can do to help ocean conservation.

The event is free, though donations will be accepted.

e-mail: ebassett@desnews.com