September 20, 2018 (BOSTON) – Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs and Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) have launched the Healthy Whale, Healthy Ocean Challenge, which will use the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale to educate young residents about the threats facing the Gulf of Maine and the world’s oceans.
The contest invites K-12 students from the region surrounding the Gulf of Maine to use their creative voices to highlight the plight of North Atlantic right whales and the need for conservation of marine ecosystems and resources. Participants will create visual art, poetry, and short films that celebrate the iconic species and drive action for its protection. The artwork created for the challenge will be featured at community events held throughout the year designed to raise awareness of the threats facing our oceans.
“The goal of this challenge is to inspire a new generation of ocean advocates,” said Dr. Priscilla Brooks, Director of Ocean Conservation at CLF. “North Atlantic right whales are in crisis and could become extinct in our lifetime without immediate action. This iconic species contributes to the health of the ocean ecosystem, benefiting all of the communities surrounding the Gulf of Maine. We hope the contest will transform our youngest residents into lifelong activists who fight for healthy oceans and right whale protections.”
The dilemma surrounding North Atlantic right whales is indicative of the overall threats presently facing our oceans, including the impacts of global warming, increasing industrialization, and plastic pollution.
“We believe that students who learn by ‘creating’ experience deeper knowledge and forge a more personal connection with ideas, and that the arts are an effective way to communicate about issues important to them,” said Linda Cabot, founder and president of Bow Seat. “We are thrilled to partner with CLF to elevate youth voices to expose the plight of the right whales, and to empower students through the creative process to make a positive change for our blue planet.”
The Healthy Whale, Healthy Ocean Challenge is open to students in grades K-12 who are residents of the New England or Gulf of Maine regions in the U.S. and Canada (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Tribal Nations). Submissions are accepted in visual art, poetry, and film. Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Honorable Mention cash awards (ranging from $50-$750 each) will be given in each of three divisions: Grades K-3, 4-7, and 8-12. The Challenge is now open and will close on December 17, 2018. Judging will take place in January and February 2019, and winners will be acknowledged at a public awards ceremony in Boston in the spring of 2019. For more information, go to www.HealthyWhale.org