Sausalito, CA (2011) – Some large, colorful sea creatures welcomed visitors to the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, CA the summer of 2011. But while the critters came from the sea, they originated in factories across the world. The creatures in Washed Ashore: Plastics, Sea Life and Art were made from plastic trash that washed up on the ocean shore. Artist Angela Haseltine Pozi began collecting ocean trash along a 20-mile stretch of shore near her Oregon home in 2009. She and several volunteers eventually collected over 7000 pounds of plastic waste, including flotsam that had traveled many thousands of miles: she found water bottles from the Beijing Olympics and detergent bottles from Russia and England. Pozzi, whi is also the executive director of the Artula Insitute for Arts and Environmental Education in Bandon, Oregon, has devoted her career to the problem of plastic pollution in marine ecosystems. The show includes 16 large scale sculptures built entirely out of ocean trash, including Whale Bones, which is about 12 feet high. She made the pieces large to highlight the equally huge problem of plastic marine pollution. Americans use about a billion disposable plastic shopping bags a year, and many of them wind up in storm drains and rivers that flow to the ocean. Scientists have identified a floating mass of plastic in the ocean that is double the size of Texas. This was the sixth time Washed Ashore had been exhibited since 2010. For updates on the global tour, click here.