Photo courtesy of Washed Ashore

South Coast

KOBI Spirit of Community Moment: Washed Ashore - Art to Save the Sea

KOBI: Only on five, each year, about 8 million metric tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans. That’s about five full grocery bags for every foot of our coastlines. In less than 30 years, there will be more plastics in the oceans than there are fish. But with help from Oregon Community Foundation, there’s an organization on the coast that is raising awareness of the crisis in a very unique way. Here’s another Spirit of Community Moment.

KOBI: It’s art to save the sea.

Katie Dougherty: The education really does start with the sculptures.

KOBI: 35 tons of ocean debris have been cleared from Oregon beaches.

KD: And then we've made 89+ sculptures from that debris.

KOBI: The mission of the Bandon-based Washed Ashore project is to educate a global audience about plastic pollution in our oceans. And they do with these! Breathtaking sculptures made from scavenged plastic gathered by hundreds of beachgoers.

KD: And so, we're very appreciative of any beach cleanups that people personally can do.

KOBI: Katie Dougherty is the Executive Director of Washed Ashore. She says once the plastic is collected, gifted artists create these masterpieces.

KD: Our artists come from all backgrounds, we have many volunteers over the years that have helped us produce these amazing pieces of art, with all kinds of skill levels.

KOBI: Peter Braun is the Interim Board Chair.

Peter Braun: Viewing of the sculptures and seeing the toothbrushes and razors and BIC lighters, and all of these products that we really don't think about on a day-to-day basis, but seeing that added into his sculpture really, really sparks that awareness of how many of our just day-to-day products that we use are made out of plastic.

KOBI: And Oregon Community Foundation has been a major support.

KD: The grants we've received from the Oregon Community Foundation has helped us grow our education program and our initiatives to reach more people throughout the state of Oregon.

KOBI: And across the nation.

KD: We have a permanent peace at the Smithsonian.

KOBI: If you’d like to help make Southern Oregon a better place to live, visit Oregon Community Foundation at oregoncf.org.

This from KOBI TV's "Oregon Community Foundation: Spirit of Community" series.