Marine Debris Creative Advocacy Competition
Kids working on marine debris art around a table.
(Photo Credit: Bow Seat Ocean Awareness)
Student artwork of store shelves full of water and marine wildlife. One bottle is held in a person's hand and includes polluted-looking water and a fish.
Drawing titled “Message in a Bottle,” by 2016 Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Student Contest High School Silver Award Winner Jessica Yang.
Student artwork showing a clean-looking beach but someone is holding a magnifying glass that shows a lot of debris is there.
Drawing titled “Look Harder,” by 2016 Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Student Contest Middle School Bronze Award Winner Jessica Yang.

The Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs, through support from a NOAA Marine Debris Program Prevention through Education and Outreach grant, is happy to invite students to participate in the 2017 Marine Debris Creative Advocacy Competition. The challenge: design and carry out a project on your school’s campus or in your local community that uses the creative arts to (1) educate the public about marine debris, (2) inspire people to change their behavior, and (3) engage them in activities that reduce or prevent marine debris.

Eligibility
All students in grades 6-12 (or the homeschool equivalent) in the United States, District of Columbia, and U.S. territories are eligible to participate. Students must be enrolled in recognized public, private, and home schools during the 2016-2017 academic year. Students may work individually or as a group of unlimited size. All students must have an adult sponsor who is not their parent.

For a complete list of Competition rules and information, download the Competition Information Packet document, located in the “Resources – Downloads” box, or visit the Competition website.

How to Participate
1.) Register. Students and groups interested in participating in the Competition must create an account and register online. During this step, students will provide basic contact information, a brief description of a project idea, and a signed letter from an adult sponsor (template provided). Registrations are reviewed and approved on a rolling basis; students and sponsors will receive an email regarding registration status within approximately one week of submission.

2.) Get started. Once registration is approved, students can kick off their projects! Students’ creative campaigns can take many shapes, but some project ideas include:

  • Host a marine debris education art show, film, or lecture series with an opening reception in your town or school
  • Create a campaign to prevent or reduce specific types of waste on your school’s campus
  • Create a series of public service announcements about the marine debris problem for your local TV, radio station, or newspaper

3.) Document the journey. Part of the final project is a 3-5 minute video that illustrates the marine debris problem and how this project addressed it. Be creative and have fun!

4.) Submit the Final Project Report. This will be the primary way for students to report on their projects, and by which Bow Seat will judge the submission to the Competition. Students will be evaluated based on this Final Project Report, which should include the following:

  • Statement of Problem
  • Objectives
  • Target Audiences
  • Anticipated & Actual Challenges
  • Budget Narrative
  • Project Activities
  • Impacts
  • Personal Reflection
  • Video (3-5 minutes)
  • Signed releases and forms

Final Project Reports and supporting materials must be submitted online by the Competition deadline – Monday, June 19, 2017, 11:59 PM Eastern Time (ET).

Students are highly encouraged to check out Bow Seat’s website for project inspiration, tools and tips, and marine debris resources and lesson plans.

If you have any questions, please contact advocacy@fromthebowseat.org.

Click the image for a larger display.

Student artwork of store shelves full of water and marine wildlife. One bottle is held in a person's hand and includes polluted-looking water and a fish.
Drawing titled “Message in a Bottle,” by 2016 Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Student Contest High School Silver Award Winner Jessica Yang.
Student artwork showing a clean-looking beach but someone is holding a magnifying glass that shows a lot of debris is there.
Drawing titled “Look Harder,” by 2016 Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Student Contest Middle School Bronze Award Winner Jessica Yang.