On exhibit for the first time in Southwest Florida, Naples Zoo presents “Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea” through April 21, 2019. Made entirely of plastic debris collected from beaches, the colorful and dramatic sculptures of marine animals represent the more than 315 billion pounds of plastic in oceans today and underscore the need for wildlife conservation.
Naples Zoo will showcase eleven larger-than-life sculptures of marine life. Zoo guests are invited to get up close to view the sculptures, look inside the mouth of an 11-foot-long shark and stand alongside a 16-foot-long parrot fish, find all of the legs of an 8-foot-wide octopus and look up to an 11-foot-tall polar bear. This exhibit is free with paid Zoo admission.
All of the sculptures are of animals that are affected by plastic pollution. The eleven pieces coming to Naples Zoo are a sea star, shark, polar bear, penguin, two whale tails, seal, octopus, a parrot fish, and a trigger fish. Each piece is carefully created, with a specific message. For example, the seal piece is made of a variety of lids, buoys, netting, and wheels to represent that seals can become entangled in nets, ropes, and rubber rings or directly ingest bits of plastic.
“Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea” was founded by Angela Haseltine Pozzi, an artist and teacher from Oregon. Her passion for protecting the oceans led her to create this project with the goal of educating a global audience about plastic pollution in oceans and waterways and spark positive changes in consumer habitats. Since the project began in 2010, thousands of pounds of trash have been removed from beaches. That trash was then processed into more than 70 works of art, which travel the country to raise awareness about the plight of the world’s oceans and marine life.