Galveston to Bring Washed Ashore Sculptures to the Island

More than 20 items crafted from plastic waste to be on display

According to the Ocean Conservancy’s research partners, nearly 35 million metric tons of plastic entered the global aquatic ecosystems in 2020. A traveling art exhibit coming to Galveston Island in December is aimed at educating the public about the hazards of plastic pollution in the world’s waterways.

Oregon-based non-profit Washed Ashore and the Park Board have partnered to bring more than 20 sculptures crafted from debris collected from beaches to Galveston from Dec. 10 through March 5.

The colorful sculptures, most more than six feet tall, include depictions of coral reefs, jellyfish, penguins, sharks and more. They will be placed in areas for public viewing throughout the island -- at museums, parks, attractions and in outdoor spaces. There is no charge to view the sculptures.

“The sculptures are impressive,” Visit Galveston Chief Tourism Officer Michael Woody said. “But they’re even more impressive when you look at them closely. The artists at Washed Ashore placed recognizable objects – like buckets and shovels – at a child’s eye view. This way, hopefully, they will learn to take with them what they bring to the beach.”

The Park Board will also work with Washed Ashore representatives to establish an artist residency program designed to instruct local community partners about crafting permanent art items.

Similar Washed Ashore exhibits have been on display at prominent locations throughout the country including the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, plus zoos, aquariums and botanical gardens. Its Galveston debut marks the first time the exhibit will not be behind a paid gate in the United States.

Installation of the sculptures in Galveston is set to begin on Dec. 5.

About Galveston Island

Galveston Island is a historic beach town located on the Gulf of Mexico just 50 miles from Houston. The island is best known as a vacation destination, offering 32 miles of beaches, a variety of family attractions, Texas’ premier cruise port and one of the largest and well-preserved concentrations of Victorian architecture in the country, including several National Historic Landmarks. Galveston Island is the birthplace of Juneteenth and home to popular amusements such as Moody Gardens and Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark, as well as a variety of museums and recreational activities from surfing to birding. For more information on Galveston Island go to or call 1-888-GAL-ISLE.

About Washed Ashore

Washed Ashore, Art to Save the Sea is a non-profit organization committed to combating plastic pollution through art and education. Their mission is to build and exhibit aesthetically powerful art to educate a global audience about plastic pollution in the ocean and waterways and to spark positive changes in consumer habits. In ten years, Washed Ashore has processed over35 tons of plastic pollution from the Pacific Northwest’s ocean beaches to create over 85 works of art that are awakening the hearts and minds of viewers to the global marine debris crisis. Washed Ashore has exhibited its giant sculptures at many noteworthy venues including the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, The Kelly Clarkson Show, Disney and many Zoos, Aquariums and Botanical Gardens across the United States.