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Small Town Uses Big Fish Made Of Ocean Trash To Catch Tourists On Earth Day

April 22, 2015 Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

A 15-foot-long fish made from marine debris collected from Pacific beaches will be unveiled on Earth Day, April 22, in Bandon, Oregon, to draw the attention of tourists driving down Oregon’s Highway 101.


Washed Ashore Artistic Director Angela Haseltine Pozzi puts the finishing touches on “Henry the Fish,” a 15-foot-long sculpture on display in Bandon, Oregon, that is made completely of ocean debris, highlighting the massive plastic pollution in the world’s oceans and waterways.

It will remain there permanently to remind the public of the large amounts of plastics polluting the world’s oceans and waterways.

The colorful fish, named Henry and made entirely from ocean debris, was first built 5 years ago by local non-profit Washed Ashore and recently had true “plastic surgery” to add more color to his former self.

“This face lift brings a bright new look to the depressing subject of ocean pollution and draws attention to a serious problem,” said Angela Haseltine Pozzi, Artistic and Executive Director of Washed Ashore.

The organization, with the help of tourists and community volunteers, builds gigantic sculptures of sea life as part of its traveling environmental education exhibit, which tours the globe visiting aquariums, zoos, museums and science centers. The colorful and dramatic sculptures educate the public about the way sea life is being severely threatened by vast amounts of discarded plastic debris filling the world’s oceans. Current exhibit venues include the Aquarium in Mystic Connecticut and SeaWorld Parks in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio. Venues in 2016 include The Houston Zoo and Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, Florida.

While Washed Ashore educates the world about ocean debris, the town of Bandon has been reaping the rewards of Washed Ashore’s success. Bandon’s Harbortown Events Center hosts a popular local showing of the traveling exhibit, including a volunteer workshop and a gallery that displays many ocean debris art pieces not currently “on the road.”

“Bandon has always been known as a popular destination along one of the most spectacular parts of Oregon’s south coast, and now Washed Ashore gives tourists another exciting reason to visit our beautiful seaside town,” said Julie Miller, Executive Director of Bandon’s Chamber of Commerce.

The return of Henry to his highly visible space in town was sponsored by Wild Rivers Coast Alliance, a philanthropic arm of the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. The grant-making organization is committed to supporting communities along the south coast of Oregon.

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