Wednesday, February 21, 2024

The Marine Mammal Center Hosts 15 Colossal Sculptures Made from Ocean Trash

Henry the fish is made from hundreds of pounds of trash collected from beaches in Oregon.
© Angela Haseltine Pozzi – Artistic Director, Washed Ashore – plastics, sea life and art

Washed Ashore: Plastics, Sea Life and Art reminds citizens about the importance of ocean conservation and recycling

SAUSALITO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Anyone looking to combine their passions for ocean conservation with art appreciation can see the debut of Washed Ashore: Plastics, Sea Life and Art at The Marine Mammal Center located in the Marin Headlands, in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area June 25 through October 15. Visitors to The Marine Mammal Center will be able to see and interact with the 15 colossal sculptures installed throughout the hospital and visitor center. The Center will hold a dedication and grand opening on June 25 beginning at 9 a.m. and the exhibit will officially be open to the public starting at 10 a.m. that day. In addition, the public can see one of the sculpture pieces, a harbor seal, in a variety of locations throughout the Bay Area during the four-month-long show.

“We think this exhibit will engage our visitors with the ‘pretty ugly truth’ about ocean trash and help them make the connection between their health, the health of our oceans and how their actions have an impact on both,” said Dr. Jeff Boehm, executive director at The Marine Mammal Center. “On average, 8-10% of our patient admissions are due to human interactions including those related to entanglements in trash.”

The Washed Ashore community project is the vision of artist and educator Angela Haseltine Pozzi. This community art project has turned the ugly reality of ocean trash into beautiful sculptures of the marine life that is most affected by this hazard, inspiring citizens to rethink their use and consumption of plastics and change their recycling habits. Angela Haseltine Pozzi is the lead artist and director of the Washed Ashore project, based in Bandon, Oregon. Pozzi has been an exhibiting artist and educator for more than 30 years and now chooses to use art as a powerful tool for community and environmental action about her true passion – the ocean.

“I came to the ocean to heal, but I found an ocean that needed healing,” remarked Angela Haseltine Pozzi, artist, educator and director of the Washed Ashore community project. “The problem of plastic pollution in the ocean is huge, so the artwork had to be massive in order to get the message across.”

Pozzi and her team of community volunteers collected approximately 7,000 lbs. of trash from 20 miles of beaches along the Oregon coast to make the sculptures. Through community art workshops at Pozzi’s Artula Institute, citizens young and old are taught how to clean and sort the bits and pieces of plastic caps, bottles, netting, flip flops and other trash that make up the “art supplies.” They then assemble the ocean trash into shapes and configurations that are incorporated into the gigantic sculptures.

About The Marine Mammal Center:
The Marine Mammal Center is a nonprofit veterinary hospital, research and educational center dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of ill and injured marine mammals – primarily elephant seals, harbor seals and California sea lions – and to the study of their health. Since 1975, the Center has been headquartered in the Marin Headlands, within the Golden Gate National Parks and has rescued and treated more than 16,500 marine mammals. The Center’s newly rebuilt headquarters in Sausalito is open to the public daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is FREE. For more information and to sign up for the Center’s eNewsletter, go to:

About the Washed Ashore community project:
The Washed Ashore community project began in January 2010 with the goal of educating and creating awareness about marine debris and plastic pollution through art. The Artula Institute, founded by artist and educator Angela Haseltine Pozzi, has brought hundreds of community members together to clean up thousands of pounds of ocean trash from Oregon beaches and construct giant sculptures of the marine creatures most affected by plastic pollution. More at and

Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She reports on design and technical design, production and project management, industry trends and company culture. From 2005-2020 she ran communications and publications for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA and publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association, and has contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a BFA from Pratt Institute. She has lived in Detroit, New York, Oakland, and now Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts community.

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