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Norfolk Botanical Garden Exhibition Raising Awareness About Pollution

NORFOLK, Va. — An Oregon artist has put several thousand pounds of trash in the Norfolk Botanical Gardens – but it doesn’t look how you think it would and it’s for a good cause.

Artist Angela Hazeltine Pozzi and the Washed Ashore Foundation have collected more than 30 tons of trash over the last 11 years. She’s used it to create 85 sculptures shaped like sealife the size of cars. You can catch some of those sculptures at the Botanical Gardens June 5 through Oct. 31.

The Washed Ashore Projects’ mission is to bring attention to the overwhelming amount of plastic pollution in the oceans.

Project leaders say single-use plastics are especially bad for the environment’s health – both in the water and on land. According to the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, there could be more plastics by weight in the oceans than fish by 2050.

The art’s interactive and playful nature makes it easy for even children to grasp the message Angela’s trying to send: “Our planet has limits, our ocean has limits and it’s at its limit.

In the near future, the collection will also include an exclusive, custom-made eagle. Angela says it’s being made from trash collected by locals along the beaches of Coastal Virginia.

The eagle will hold a menhaden in its talons and should be here later this summer.

The Norfolk Botanical Gardens says the exhibit was made possible by The Batten Family Educational Achievement Fund of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation.

Norfolk Botanical Gardens officials say they are working closely with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) as the environmental partner for this event. Since 1989, CBF’s Clean the Bay Day has engaged nearly 162,000 volunteers, removing over 7.1 million pounds of debris from more than 8,000 miles of shorelines in Virginia.