Local hero contest winner: Transforming Lives Through Trash

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Local Hero contest winner!!!
Angela Haseltine Pozzi
Washed Ashore Project
Written by Leona Atkinson,

Angela Haseltine Pozzi picks up trash she finds on the beach and uses it to educate the public about littering and the dangers of plastic pollution in our environment.

By making use of her artistic talent, Angela, who lives in Bandon, Oregon, has created huge sculptures of marine animals and sea life to create awareness of how plastics are destroying our oceans and marine life. Her unique sculptures are built of 98% beach trash which has been gathered and put together by a voluntary community of workers. Not only is Angela educating people on environmental dangers, but she is also fostering community togetherness by encouraging anyone who has the desire to get involved to come into her studio and work on one of these projects. She also reaches out to educate children by going into the schools to speak to them about her projects and invite them to participate in the hands on work of creating amazing sculptures like Tula the Turtle who is 10 ft. long, 6 ft. wide, and 2 ft. high.

Tula the Turtle, created from plastic trash found on our ocean beaches creates awareness of the danger of plastic bags, for often sea turtles mistake a plastic bag that is floating in the ocean for a jellyfish, and they eat the plastic and die. Many more marine animals lose their lives due to plastic pollution, and Angela’s giant sculptures of sea lions, fish, whale skeletons and so many more are helping to tell their stories to a world who needs to know and care.

For people to notice, “It’s gotta be big” says Angela, and her beautiful, trashy sculptures ranging in sizes from 8 ft. to 23 ft., are surely big!

I first learned about Angela when I visited her “Washed Ashore” exhibit that was on display at Portland Community College Sylvania Campus last year. Viewing her sculptures up close made a big impact on me and I was amazed to learn how plastics were harming our oceans and sea life. That day I committed to help by buying cloth bags to use at grocery stores, limiting my use of plastics, participating in beach cleanup days, and doing what I could to spread Angela’s message whenever and wherever I could.

Angela has been an inspiration to me, for by using her talent to transform trash, she has shown what one woman can do to change the world and make it better.

See more of her great work at Washed Ashore Project