Newswise — Brooklyn, NY, May 2, 2024 — The New York Aquarium is debuting a traveling art exhibit, “Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea” to message about how plastics polluting the environment are harmful to wildlife and people. The exhibit will be at the aquarium Friday, May 24, to Monday, Sept. 2, 2024.

An estimated 9 million tons of plastic enter the ocean annually. Once plastic enters our waterways, it is deadly for many species and negatively impacts animals and people. This transformative art experience features 35 sculptures in 14 different scenes made entirely from marine debris, highlighting the scale and impact of plastic pollution in a visually stunning and emotionally compelling way.

Admission to the Washed Ashore experience is included with the purchase of a ticket to the New York Aquarium. Visitors are encouraged to buy tickets in advance to secure their opportunity to experience this impactful exhibit and spend time encountering more than 8,000 animals from over 500 species.

The Washed Ashore experience showcases sculptures representing marine species affected by plastic pollution, including Chompers the shark, Gertrude the Magellanic penguin, and Sea Jelly Bloom—a collection of 24 jellies suspended from above. These sculptures highlight species that are part of the WCS and New York Aquarium local and global ocean conservation efforts. Through this immersive experience, visitors gain a deeper understanding of how their actions can contribute to protecting marine life and preserving the ocean for future generations.

“The powerful sculptures in Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea raise awareness about the devastating impact of plastic pollution on our oceans and encourage visitors to take action and become part of the solution,” said Leigh Ann Clayton, Director of the New York Aquarium. “This experience, along with New York Aquarium’s world-class animal care and immersive exhibits, will inspire millions of visitors to protect the ocean and life that depends on it.”

The aquarium offers engaging educational experiences related to the Washed Ashore experience:

  • Wildlife Theater features two shows this summer, The Amazing Tuna Adventure and The Adventures of Super Shark. Both shows use song, puppetry, and storytelling to show the relationship between the ocean and plastic use. 
  • Exhibit talks from ocean experts at the Ocean Wonders: Sharks! and Sea Cliffs exhibits deliver fun and educational talks related to ocean plastics.
  • Quest Stations, which feature hands-on activities, games, and educational experiences, are available throughout the aquarium for visitors to learn more about ocean plastics and the impact on wildlife.

New York Aquarium
The New York Aquarium is open every day of the year. It is part of Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) which manages the world’s largest network of urban wildlife parks including the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, Queens Zoo and New York Aquarium. It is located on 14 acres along the Atlantic Coast (602 Surf Ave., Coney Island, NY) and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Summer hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Fall/Winter/Spring hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., daily. For directions, information on public events and programs, and other aquarium information, call 718-265-FISH or visit our web site at For additional information or general inquiries, please contact Mary Dixon, [email protected] (347-840-1242).

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

WCS combines the power of its zoos and an aquarium in New York City and a Global Conservation Program in more than 50 countries to achieve its mission to save wildlife and wild places. WCS runs the world’s largest conservation field program, protecting more than 50 percent of Earth’s known biodiversity; in partnership with governments, Indigenous People, Local Communities, and the private sector. It’s four zoos and aquarium (the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, and the New York Aquarium) welcome more than 3.5 million visitors each year, inspiring generations to care for nature. Visit: Follow: @WCSNewsroom. For more information: +1 (347) 840-1242Listen to the WCS Wild Audio podcast HERE.