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Sea Debris art exhibit inspires at Mote Marine

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SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) - Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium has a new attraction opening up this weekend. Starting Dec. 9, visitors will meet Greta the Great White Shark, Natasha the Turtle and other huge, marine-inspired sculptures.

As guests tour the interactive exhibit, they will notice that these are not your average sculptures. Each piece is made entirely out of plastic and other debris gathered from the ocean on Oregon's coast and transformed into art by the project "Washed Ashore."

Sea debris is a serious problem across the globe. Plastic products can break down in seawater making items easily swallowed by marine animals. Derelict fishing gear, such as monofilament line, can be ingested by animals or entangle sea life causing injury or even death. Marine debris can also damage important habitats.

"Sea Debris: Awareness through Art,” aims to educate and inspire our community to reduce sea debris.

Washed Ashore, the non-profit community art project, responsible for the exhibit, was founded by artist and educator Angela Haseltine Pozzi in 2010. Based in Bandon, Oregon the project has processed tons of plastic pollution from Pacific beaches to create amazing feats of art that are awakening the hearts and minds of viewers to the global marine debris crisis.

You can learn more about "Washed Ashore" at washedashore.org.

The exhibit, included with admission, runs from Dec. 9, 2017, through June 15, 2018, as part of Mote Marine's series of educational events during winter 2017 and spring 2018.

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