Voices from Our Community

Rebecca Turkewitz

“I really appreciate all you do to celebrate students and teachers, honor student work, raise awareness, inspire environmental and political action, provide educational opportunities for young people, and create an engaged community around science, arts, and advocacy.”

Humanities Teacher, Coastal Studies for Girls (Maine)
Peter C. Stone

“Bow Seat’s vision brings ocean issues to the attention of young people around the world. The growing number of submissions is a testament to Bow Seat’s tireless commitment to engage young artists. Sifting through thousands of works of art in many media, the Bow Seat team seeks the sparks of creativity and originality that will form a critical foundation for leading the next generation toward sustainable stewardship of the oceans.”

Artist, Educator, and Bow Seat Contest Judge (Massachusetts)
Fabian LaPalme

“I spent so much more time in the water as a child that I’m surprised I didn’t develop gills. This Contest forced me to think about pollution; not just its effects on the present, but its consequences for the future. I want future generations to be able to enjoy a clean ocean—to see how beautiful it is, to understand the depth and variety of its creatures.”

Age 16, Winner in the 2017 Ocean Awareness Student Contest (Alabama)
Joan Fortin

“Bow Seat has really ignited [my daughter’s] passion for doing environmental advocacy around cleaning up our oceans. It’s wonderful to see, and I so appreciate the spark and encouragement she’s received from your organization!”

Parent of Lainey Randall, a winner of the 2017 Marine Debris Creative Advocacy Competition (Maine)
Gary Bremen

“We host four art exhibits per year in our National Park Gallery. Most often they are pretty pictures of birds, sunsets, coral reefs, and the like. What I really loved about hosting the Bow Seat exhibit was how people who came to see it read every word that the students wrote. They wanted to see where they were coming from, and they were deeply moved by the passion these young people demonstrated. Despite the fact that some of these images seem very dire, there is most definitely a sense of hope in seeing the entire show.”

Park Ranger, Biscayne National Park (Florida)
Sarah Snyder

“By heightening awareness, Bow Seat is making a difference in eradicating ocean pollution. It empowers students, teachers, and families to ignite the work that must be done to change the tide of humans contaminating our greatest resource. In addition, through the plethora of scholarships that it awards, Bow Seat values and encourages a new generation to follow a passion in writing or creating art to affect social change.”

Writer and Bow Seat Contest Judge (Massachusetts)
Lucy Chen

“I had a hard time connecting the topic to my life experiences. I live smack in the middle of North America and 1,000 miles away from the nearest beach. Then I realized that many around the world feel the same way. I became convinced that I had to explain why the ocean is important and that it affects us all no matter how far away we are from it.”

Age 15, Winner in the 2017 Ocean Awareness Student Contest (Minnesota)
Dr. Briana Brown

“The contest is an important engagement tool for bringing ocean issues to our young people. I love that students have choices in terms of what they want to explore. This allows them to really dig in and get passionate about something. I also find this a really helpful assignment to discuss different types of science writing, and as a way to refine both research and writing skills.”

Science Teacher, Brookline High School (Massachusetts)
Blue Brasher-Rues

“This program taught me that I can do anything. There is no better feeling than to feel passionate about something and then go out and do something about it… I am ecstatic to know that I can do anything I set my mind to! And I want everyone in my generation to know that they can too.”

Age 14, Winner in the 2017 Marine Debris Creative Advocacy Competition (Arkansas)
Cynthia Callahan

“Over 35,000 Aquarium visitors in 2017 were exposed to and inspired by our Bow Seat gallery! For nearly 50 years the Huntsman has been educating and inspiring stewardship through the engagement of our community in ocean discovery, so these moving works by our next generation of ocean stewards has become a meaningful and important addition to our exhibits.”

Aquarium Manager, Fundy Discovery Aquarium (St. Andrews, Canada)
Bobby Stitt

“I am a huge advocate for environmental action. Thank you so much for the opportunity to show my work, and thank you for trying to get kids involved with something we all should care about.”

Age 16, Winner in the 2017 Ocean Awareness Student Contest (Massachusetts)
Opefoluwa Sarah Adegbite

“Before participating in this Contest I didn’t know much about ocean pollution, and to be honest, I’m still not an expert on the subject. But when I was writing my poem, I felt like I was part of the ocean.”

Age 13, Winner in the 2016 Ocean Awareness Student Contest (United Kingdom)
Elizabeth Goodrich

“After learning about litter, global warming, and invasive species last year, I realized that our ignorance has become a huge problem, and I knew I had to do something. I just didn’t know what. When my teacher told me about Bow Seat, I had my answer. It was a way for me to express my concern and send a message to people about ocean pollution in a creative way. We only have one Earth after all, and it is our job to take good care of it.”

Age 12, Winner in the 2017 Ocean Awareness Student Contest (Maine)
Marisa Maré

“I am excited that our students’ artworks are not only appreciated by our local community but also acknowledged at an international level as an important and effectively communicated message. I feel it’s important to provide opportunities for our students to find creative solutions for the issues we face in our world today. Art is powerful visual activism. The artist’s individual voice together with visual imagery combine to form compelling commentary.”

Head of Department: Visual Art, Redhill School (South Africa)
Milan Chander

“This program has been a great opportunity for me to become passionate about a real issue plaguing our world. I hope my writing inspires others to recognize their roles as the keepers of the ocean.”

Age 11, Winner in the 2017 Ocean Awareness Student Contest (California)
Lila Gaudrault

“Combining something I love to do, writing, with something I feel passionately about, pollution, is my favorite way to raise awareness for various topics like this one. I feel like if I can educate others, I can hopefully inspire them to join the growing mission to save the oceans.”

Age 14, Winner in the 2017 Ocean Awareness Student Contest (Maine)