Angela Haseltine Pozzi didn’t start as an environmentalist artist, but her evolution as an artist shifted when she noticed the immense amounts of plastic pollution on the pristine southern Oregon beaches. As she learned more about ocean pollution from plastics and marine debris she became motivated to do something about it. Thus, the Washed Ashore Project was born.
Now, together with a team of volunteers, she collects marine debris through beach cleanups and community workshops. The collected trash is then used to create large scale sculptures of sea life threatened by marine debris. These sculptures now tour as the Washed Ashore Project traveling exhibit, educating and inspiring countless people from diverse backgrounds to take action in their own lives to prevent contributing to this global problem.
“As the beaches around the world wash up more stuff from the land and less from the sea I believe we must examine our relationship to rivers and oceans,” writes Haseltine Pozzi on her website. “I attempt to scoop up part of what might be below the blue waters and place it in front of us. In some ways it may be an escape, but at the same time a confrontation.”
Over 10,000 volunteers have helped clean beaches and worked with Washed Ashore to process over 20 tons of debris into over 70 sculptures of the animals affected by plastic pollution. As the leader of a team of dedicated employees and hundreds of volunteers, Haseltine Pozzi has vowed that this effort is her calling and “until we run out of plastic on the beach, we will keep doing our work.”
Here are some of their inspiring creations.