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“Keep the Sea Free of Debris” 2010 Art Contest

NOAA Marine Debris Program

podcast iconMarine Debris (Diving Deeper podcast, 2.23.09)

NOAA’s Marine Debris Program Holds Student Art Contest

winning artwork

The winning artwork is featured here. Click image to see full artwork.

On Earth Day (April 22), the NOAA Marine Debris Program announced an art contest for kindergarten to 8th grade students across the country. In the Program’s first art contest, students were asked to describe how they are affected by marine debris and what they are doing to help tackle this global problem.

The response was overwhelming. More than 300 entries were received—all of them beautiful and each of them an inspiration and reminder of the legacies we leave our next generation.

The winning artwork will be showcased in a 2011 planner that will help in raising awareness about the global problem of marine debris. For more information, visit

Marine debris is any persistent solid material that is manufactured or processed and directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, disposed of or abandoned into the marine environment or the Great Lakes. Marine debris can come in many forms. Types and components of marine debris include plastics, glass, metal, Styrofoam, rubber, derelict fishing gear, and derelict vessels.

The impacts of marine debris are wide ranging. From being an eyesore on a beach to wildlife entanglement to stopping a 400 ton vessel at sea, marine debris is a problem that we cannot ignore.

Artwork for the 12 finalists, students in grades 1 through 8, can be seen here. Click on an image to see the full artwork. The winning artwork will be featured as a month in the 2011 Marine Debris Planner.