On exhibit for the first time in the Tampa Bay region, The Florida Aquarium presents “Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea” from February 29 through the end of August. This unique exhibit educates about the negative and devastating effects of plastic pollution and aims to spark positive changes in consumer habits. This aesthetically compelling art installation is built entirely from plastics found in oceans and waterways around the world.
Made possible with the support of a $250,000 donation from The Vinik Family Foundation, which is managed by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and his wife, Penny, guests are invited to get up close to view the sculptures, which range from a 12-foot-long shark and 16-foot-long parrotfish to a 20-foot-long coral reef. Washed Ashore, with its 18 larger-than-life sculptures, will inspire Aquarium guests to make a difference in their day-to-day lives.
Washed Ashore has traveled across the country – from the zoo in Tacoma, Wash., to the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. This is the first time the Reef At Risk exhibit will be displayed in the state of Florida, with the artwork designed to fit specific upstairs areas of the Florida Aquarium.
“We are grateful for The Vinik Family Foundation’s support to make this impactful exhibit possible.
Billions of pounds of plastic are floating in our oceans. Washed Ashore literally brings this issue to life by crafting animals out of that very trash – what a memorable way to promote The Florida Aquarium’s conservation mission,” Roger Germann, President and CEO of the Florida Aquarium said.
Washed Ashore was founded in 2010 by Oregon artist and teacher Angela Haseltine Pozzi. After seeing an increase in debris on Oregon beaches, Pozzi created the nonprofit to make a difference. Since its launch, Washed Ashore has collected nearly 26 tons of garbage from more than 300 miles of Pacific coastline. With help from volunteers, the organization has made more than 80 sculptures, with more on the way.
“Plastic pollution is choking the ocean. It’s hurting marine life, and we can help. We have to change our consumer habits to save the ocean,” Angela Haseltine Pozzi said. “Don’t just feel guilty about the plastics you use take one small action each day. Use reusable bags instead of plastic ones, buy a reusable water bottle, carry a reusable coffee mug. Every action counts!” Pozzi added.
The Washed Ashore – Art to Save the Sea exhibit will be included with a general admission ticket to the Aquarium.
About The Florida Aquarium
The Florida Aquarium actively participates in and promotes stewardship of the natural environment as part of our mission of conservation. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, The Florida Aquarium provides an opportunity to see over 8,000 aquatic and terrestrial animals, explore complex ecosystems, look for wild dolphins in Tampa Bay, play at the Splash Pad and more! Ranked #2 Aquarium in North America in a recent USA TODAY’S 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards, the aquarium is more than a must-see attraction, The Florida Aquarium is working to protect and restore our blue planet on many conservation fronts, including research and rescue efforts that help restore Florida’s sea turtle and coral populations and to ensure that sharks continue to swim our seas. In August of 2019, The Florida Aquarium, in partnership with Project Coral, became the first to successfully spawn critically endangered pillar coral in a laboratory. To learn more, follow us on social media at @floridaaquarium and visit www.flaquarium.org.
About Washed Ashore
Washed Ashore mission is to build and exhibit aesthetically powerful art to educate a global audience about plastic pollution is the ocean and waterways and to spark positive changes in consumer habits.
Washed Ashore is a non-profit community art project founded by artist and educator, Angela Haseltine Pozzi in 2010. The project is based in Bandon, Oregon, where Angela first recognized the amount of plastic washing up on the beaches she loved and decided to take action. Since 2010, Washed Ashore has processed tons of plastic pollution from Pacific beaches to create monumental art that is awakening the hearts and minds of viewers to the global marine debris crisis. For more information, visit www.washedashore.org.
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