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HOUSTON -- Jeremy Underwood could not believe what he found on the beach early last year. There were piles of pollution like he had never seen.

What can you do but be overwhelmed by it, Underwood said.

He found everything from baseballs to shoes. Plastic bottles were the most common.

But then, he looked a little closer and saw the potential.

It almost becomes beautiful, Underwood said. Just thinking about where it came from, the journey and where it s going next becomes my interest.

A graduate student in art at the University of Houston, Underwood slowly transformed the scraps he found into beautiful sculptures.

Over the next six months, he placed them along Houston-area waterways.

Each one of them was photographed at sunset, in the hope they could each one day send a message.

The idea is that people would notice these things and maybe do something and help with the cleanup, Underwood said.

He never moved any of the pieces. Over time, however, some were stolen and others were even burned.

Yet the pictures live on, and some are now gaining international acclaim as Underwood looks forward to the day he no longer has the pollution to work with.

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