Ocean Awareness Student Contest

Deadline: 19 June 2017
Open to: students entries, originating from any part of the world
Awards: is in four categories for both middle school and high school levels applicants


It’s easy to become discouraged when you think about the challenges facing our ocean ecosystems. Ocean pollution, in particular, is an ever-increasing global concern that threatens marine life, our environment, the economy, and human health.

Yet there have been many inspiring conservation stories and ocean “wins” in the last year: cities implementing plastic bag bans; governments establishing new Marine Protected Areas; and the rise of citizens and businesses embracing zero-waste mentalities. At Bow Seat, they recognize the power of  young ocean caretakers, and their goal is to inspire you to lead the way to finding innovative solutions to ocean pollution.
They want you to #BeTheChange. You may choose to focus your work on one type of pollution, or the impact of ocean pollution as a whole. Whichever way you choose, they want your submission – visual art, poetry, prose, or film – to make viewers reflect on the impact of ocean pollution, inspire them to consider possible solutions, and challenge them to take action.


  • Individual and groups can be of unlimited size, but you must provide the names of each group member. There will be one group leader who will serve as the contact person for the group. Awards will be given to the group as a whole;
  • Any student in grades 6-8 (or the international or homeschool equivalent) is eligible for the Middle School division. Any student in grades 9-12 (or the international or homeschooling equivalent) is eligible for the High School division. As long as you were a middle school or high school student for any amount of time during the Contest (September 2016 – June 2017), you are eligible to enter;
  • Participants under the age of 13 must have a parent or legal guardian complete a Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Parent/Guardian Consent Form and upload it as part of their submission;
  • If you submit as a group, there must be one group leader who will serve as the contact person for the group. All of the names of the group members must be listed in the submission. Award money will be split among the group members;
  • Any student may submit (i.e., have their name included in) only one entry per category. Therefore, a student may have a maximum of four different submissions, one in each category.


Awards will be presented in each of the four categories at both middle school and high school levels Grades 6-8 and Grades 9-12

Gold Award USD 1,500 /  USD 1,000;
Silver Award USD 1,000 /  USD 750;
Bronze Award USD 500 / USD 250;

Gold Award winner’s school USD 1,500 /  USD 750;
Plus: 10 Honorable Mention Awards USD 250 / USD 100;
3 Teacher Recognition Awards USD 750 / USD 750. 

How to Apply?

There is no fee to enter the Contest. Students must create an account and submit their work through their online system by the Contest deadline. Students must have an adult sponsor, usually a teacher. Home- schooled students may put down their home- school teacher’s name. 

Entries submitted previously to the Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Student Contest will not be considered in the 2017 Contest. All entries must be the students’ original work. While they recognize that existing sources will be used for inspiration and research, Bow Seat reserves the right to disqualify an entry if they suspect plagiarism.

For more information please visit the official website.

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