Washed Ashore Project Repurposes Marine Debris for Art and Education

The Washed Ashore Project turns marine debris into art and awareness to save the sea.

Henry the Fish, Washed Ashore’s flagship sculpture | May, 2016, Bandon, OR

Washed Ashore enlists volunteers to clean up the beaches. The debris is returned to their workshop where it serves as material for sculptures and displays to educate people about marine pollution. The best work even goes on tour!

A colorful rocky intertidal diorama
Debris from beach cleanups becomes a rocky intertidal diorama in the workshop | May, 2016

I spend a lot of time in tide pools and I feel like I’ve seen some amazing ones, but when I came upon the display above, the beauty and diversity pretty much knocked me off my feet.

Starfish sculpture
Do you know what this is? Hint: the bottles are tube feet | May, 2016

That’s right, a starfish.

If you live in the area or are planning a visit to the southern Oregon coast, you can volunteer at the workshop.



    1. It is pretty amazing. I’ve seen quite a bit of marine debris art along the Oregon coast, but I don’t know much about who’s doing it, or where they are getting their materials. You’re right, there’s no shortage!

    1. I visited the workshop last may May. I’m happy I finally got around to making this post. If I was a bit more crafty, I might take a turn helping build one of the big sculptures. Looks fun!

  1. Art like this hits us in ways mere words can’t. These are powerful messages. Hopefully viewers take them to heart. The deserts of the Southwest suffer a similar fate, though nowhere near as colourful. Humans have used the washes and arroyos as dumping grounds for ages waiting for the next flash flood to wash it all downstream and out of sight.Or they simply drive out onto the desert and toss whatever they don’t want instead of paying a fee at the local landfill. We are a messy species.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s