Washed Ashore

washed ashore shark

Art to Save the Sea

Opening April 2017

Striking in shades of red, the octopus casts a yellow eye on visitors, reaching its sucker-studded arms up, out and around.

But look closer, and that eye and those arms are made of trash: plastic debris that has washed up on beaches. Sand toys, plastic bottles and shards of all kinds have been transformed into the stripes of a giant parrot fish, the teeth of a 10-foot-long shark and the beak of a massive penguin.

Beginning in April, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium will host the eye-poppingly compelling Washed Ashore exhibit, featuring 10 fish, birds and marine animals, including a sea horse sculpture created just for the Zoo.

washed ashore collage

See mesmerizing works of art and learn about how humans affect the ocean. Take the message of “reduce, reuse, recycle” to heart. Single-use plastics, such as bags and bottles, often escape the landfill and recycling bins and instead end up in the ocean, where seals, fish and birds can ingest them or become entangled.

“Plastics have a devastating effect on ocean wildlife,” said Karen Povey, the Zoo’s education curator. “We want to inspire our community to reduce the use of plastic and take action to protect the seals, sea lions and other marine animals that live in Puget Sound.”