This Art Is Real Trash

By BoatUS Editorial Staff

We invited BoatUS members to get creative with the trash damaging our waterways and fishing grounds where we love to boat. Here's a sampling of your many inspiring entries.

Plastic Soup

Flow of Plastic to the Sea artwork

Ron Yeo has been recycling items into artwork for years and loves beach walking, especially on his local Big Corona State Beach in Newport Beach, California. From one walk, he created "Neverending Flow of Plastic to the Sea," using only a quarter of the items he picked up that June morning.

The Last Straw?

Plastic debris in clear acrylic boxes

Sheila Rogers, from Corpus Christie, Texas, collected plastic debris from her local beach and groups them together — straws, green plastic bottles, pens, rings from drinks, cigarette lighters, fishing monofilament. "I created clear acrylic boxes to display these collections for impact."

We're Trying To Think Big, Too

Think Big - recycled bottle caps mural

With recycled bottle caps, Brian Li, 10, of Honolulu, Hawaii, "wanted to show others that anything is possible, that recycling helps the environment and makes beautiful art, and that using your imagination can guide you to succeed in life."


9-foot marlin sculpture made from ocean debris, a nonprofit, removes ocean debris through volunteer cleanups, then sorts and washes it before turning it into art sculptures like this 9-foot marlin that was commissioned by the American Sportfishing Association and sponsored by Costa Sunglasses.

From Flotsam To Fish

Fish sculpture created from plastic flotsam and jetsam

Janet Dinsmore of Silver Spring, Maryland, picks up plastic flotsam and jetsam to recycle into art assemblages. Here's her creation, from trash picked up on Lake Michigan's Miller Beach in Gary, Indiana; Maryland's Chesapeake Bay; and Merkle Beach in Harwichport, Massachusetts.

A 'Coral Reef' Of Tears?

Specious sediment sculpture

Shilouh Griffin and her husband live in Davie, Florida, where she collects trash from waterways and storm drains for her artwork. "I try to create organic environments that start a conversation about the role plastics are having on the world around us," she says.

Face It, Plastic Is A Problem

Plastic caps portrait

Austin Schultz of Tiffin, Ohio, who is in his last year at the University of Cincinnati majoring in construction management, grew up by the Lake Erie shore. "My family has a PWC, my uncle has a boat called Shut Up and Fish, and my fiancée's family boat is Sea Level." Austin made this self-portrait from more than 5,000 bottle caps collected over five months. It measures 4 by 5 feet and took almost 75 hours to complete. 

— Published: August/September 2017

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