It was time for a coffee stop on my drive down the Oregon coast and I followed the signs to the 'old town' section of Bandon to warm up in to the Bandon Coffee Company. Mocha in hand, I wanted to wander through the historical district before driving on to my next hiking leg of the Coastal Trail. In the patch of grass between the cafe and the Bandon Harbortown Event Center, you can't miss the three large art installations made from marine debris and plastics. I read the signs, explaining that these were creations made from participants in the Washed Ashore Project and followed the arrows into the event center to get more information.
When I walked in to the center at about mid-day on Saturday, there were at least 50 people (adults and children alike), working at ten different work stations, creating art out of the debris. They provide daily, free workshops to get visitors and locals alike involved and the space is also home to a good 15 additional pieces of art- all in the forms of the marine animals that debris like this kills daily.
The mission of this non-profit community project is to educate and create awareness about marine debris and plastic pollution through art. It is sponsored by The Artula Institute for Arts & Environmental Education whose mission is to provide opportunities to express and teach environmental issues through the arts.
Check out their website below to donate or get involved and make sure this is a stop on any Oregon coast itinerary.