Vandegrift student donates sculpture to Turtle Rescue Inc.

Vandegrift junior Essa Garrett created a statement environmental piece in her sculpture class. She recently donated the work to Turtle Rescue Inc. of South Padre Island.

Essa Garrett, a junior at Vandegrift, donated a sculpture to Turtle Rescue Inc. of South Padre Island. The project was part of a sculpture class assignment at VHS to produce something to educate the public about the environment.

Garrett collected garbage from Boca Chica Beach and created a sea turtle from the garbage to showcase just how much waste is being discarded and washing up onto Texas beaches. Trash, like she found, can harm wildlife including sea turtles, which use Boca Chica Beach to lay eggs every year.

“I was inspired by my love of sea turtles and by knowing the importance of the beaches at South Padre for the turtle population to lay their eggs,” Garrett said.

She wanted to do an art piece that was impactful, she said. “So I chose to use trash found on Boca Chica Beach to create a piece that showed how humans are impacting sea turtle habitat.”

Turtle Rescue Inc. at South Padre raises awareness on sea turtles environmental plight and also rehabilitates injured turtles. The nonprofit will use the sculpture in its classroom to educate school children about not littering and beautifying beaches to protect wildlife.