NOAA's Response and Restoration Blog

An inside look at the science of cleaning up and fixing the mess of marine pollution

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Calling Young Artists: Keep the Sea Free of Debris Art Contest Opens

Winning calendar artwork of cleaning up a beach.

The overall winner of the 2011 Keep the Sea Free of Debris Art Contest and cover of the 2012 Marine Debris Program calendar. Created by 8th grader Leilani H. of Hawaii.

Whether you’ve stepped on a rogue bottle cap at the beach or seen images of seabirds with bellies full of plastic on TV, we’ve all felt the impacts of marine debris. It’s time to turn your response from “ouch, my foot” into creative action.

The NOAA Marine Debris Program has just opened its annual Keep the Sea Free of Debris Art Contest [leaves this blog]. Tell us how marine debris affects you and what you are doing about it. The winning artwork will be showcased in a NOAA Marine Debris Program calendar that will help bring attention to the global problem of marine debris. The contest is open to students in grades K-8 in all U.S. states and territories.

Young artists have until October 21 to submit their entries. Get out your watercolors and start painting the ocean a cleaner hue!

For details on how to enter this year’s contest, visit the Rules and Instructions [leaves this blog] page.

You can also download the 2012 calendar [PDF, 11MB] to see last year’s winning inspirational artwork. Last year’s overall winner, 8th grader Leilani H. of Hawaii, reflected:

“[Marine debris] impacts me because it makes the ocean look ugly and dirty. With the trash in the water it can hurt the reef and the animals with it. Every time I see trash in the ocean I pick it up and throw it away. I also get my friends and family to help pick up the trash and make sure our beaches are clean. If people help clean our oceans we will have cleaner beaches.”