Audubon’s ‘Washed Ashore’ exhibit to debut new sculptures in October

New larger-than-life sculptures will join the current displays featured at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and the Audubon Zoo.

Audubon Aquarium’s Washed Ashore Exhibit features giant sea creatures constructed from plastic trash in order to bring awareness to plastic pollution. The sculptures will remain on display until April 2019.

Director of education projects Brenda Walkenhorst says the “extremely powerful” exhibit will change guests’ perspective on plastic use. Visitors can also look forward to several new sculptures heading to the aquarium in mid-October.

The new larger-than-life sculptures — including a sea horse, a clown fish and a sea lion — will join the current displays featured at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and the Audubon Zoo.

Artist Angela Pozzi is the creative force behind these aquatic life creations crafted from plastic trash collected from Pacific Coast beaches. A close look at the sculptures can easily launch a treasure hunt to find the various items including Crocs, toilet seats, tooth brushes, knives, and cigarette lighters.

Photo courtesy: Audubon Nature Institute

Walkenhorst says the fan favorites, so far, are the sculptures of a giant swordfish and the great white shark, which also allows families the perfect photo op.

“With each piece you can almost spend an hour looking at it and picking things out,” Walkenhorst said.

Walkenhorst says the exhibit’s powerful message calls attention to plastic pollution — a big threat to both marine life and human life. Two major issues facing marine habitats include entanglement and plastic ingestion from eating the trash.

Guests who visit the exhibit can also get tips from educators on how to shift away from single use plastic, including efforts on how to reduce, reuse, recycle and reject plastic.

“The impact of looking at the amount of garbage in each exhibit really brings home what we’re doing,” Walkenhorst said.

Photo courtesy: Audubon Nature Institute

Audubon Nature Institute has also joined the national effort to reduce single-use plastics by phasing out plastic straws from concessions and plastic bags from gift shops. Since 2017, more than 200,000 individual pieces of single-use plastics have been eliminated.

The big eco-shift at Audubon Nature Institute will also translate to “green alternatives” at the 2018 Scales & Ales event. Guests can also interact with the Washed Ashore exhibit during the event.

This year’s event will highlight the Aquarium’s campaign to address plastic pollution, one of the gravest threats facing marine wildlife today. Scales & Ales will offer guests green alternatives, such as water served in aluminum cans.

Walkenhorst said she has been personally affected by the Washed Ashore exhibit and started making changes to her everyday habits.

“Once I saw the piece, it affected me in a way that I actually get emotional,” Walkenhorst said. “I made a shift, and I think our guests will make a shift.”

For more information, visit Audubon Nature Institute’s website.

Created in partnership with Audubon Nature Institute