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Community members create sculpture out of marine debris

ARCATA- Plastic bottles, bullet shells and an old ironing board, all found on Humboldt County beaches and all soon to be transformed into a masterpiece.

Each year more than 300,000 plastic bottles are found on California beaches, but some of those bottles are being put towards a good cause, they’re going to be a part of a sculpture.

“We've collected a whole bunch of trash as we do with our beach clean ups and bay clean ups and we sorted the trash that we collected into what was usable and what was not usable, washed it at a washing station, let it dry. It was quite a process,” said Jennifer Savage, North Coast Environmental Center.

That trash is being transformed into a friendly sea creature.

“We're making a salmon and it's going to be on exhibit and traveling around different schools. And we're re-using these materials to demonstrate why it's important to keep the waterways clean and protect our waterways especially since we're in such a coastal area, but protect our environment too,” said Tibora Girczyc-Blum, Director of Scrap Humboldt.

Scrap Humboldt and the north coast environmental center have been working on the sculpture in “Re-Debris” workshops all summer. The project is funded through a whale tale grant from the California Coastal Commission.

“This is part of a number of different pieces of the marine debris program that we run,” Savage said. “So it involves not just making the sculpture, but also our coastal education specialist goes into classrooms and does presentations on marine debris and how the everyday stuff that we use ends up in the ocean if we don't take care of it properly.”

And when it’s finished, organizers say they hope the community will be more aware of the trash that lurks on our local beaches.

“Sadly there's no shortage of trash at this point but by continuing to have fun with this program, I think it can only provide a greater opportunity for awareness,” Savage said.