About the Art

You’ve probably never seen anything like Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea. The limited-time installation features colorful sculptures of a 11-foot seahorse, a sinuous 13-foot-long eel, a 150-pound anemone and seven other gigantic aquatic animals.

Yet you have undoubtedly seen most of the things in the sculptures: plastic beverage bottles, straws, lighters, toothbrushes, flip-flops, ropes, toys and other mostly plastic flotsam and jetsam—more than 5 tons of it just in this exhibition—that washed up and were collected on West Coast beaches.

See more Washed Ashore videos!

The not-for-profit Washed Ashore Project was born in 2010 after artist Angela Haseltine Pozzi witnessed mounds of plastic trash piling up on formerly pristine beaches along her native Oregon coast. She organized all-volunteer cleanups and used the collected trash—washed and sorted—to create massive, realistic sculptures of the sea animals most affected by the pollution.

Since the project began, 10,000 volunteers have removed more than 38,000 pounds of plastic trash—largely single-use plastics—from over 300 miles of beaches. Ninety-five percent of the debris collected has been used in more than 60 sculptures so far.

Enjoy the creativity, whimsy and sheer spectacle of these sculptures. We’ll give you some tips on how to embrace alternatives to single-use plastics so that someday they are no longer washed ashore.

Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea runs through September 2018.