Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs Receives Multiple Awards This Spring Honoring Its Contributions to Ocean ConservationApril 26, 2018
This April, Bow Seat received several awards recognizing the contributions of its programming, leadership, and students to environmental conservation.
At the 40th annual John Muir Conservation Awards held on April 21st at the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, California, Bow Seat was presented with the Nonprofit Conservation Award for outstanding achievement by a nonprofit organization or public agency that demonstrates significant leadership in the advancement of environmental protection or conservation.
Hosted by the John Muir Association, the John Muir Conservation Awards honors those who continue John Muir’s legacy of environmental preservation.
“Through his writings, John Muir gave a voice to our country’s wilderness and made the natural world accessible and meaningful to millions of Americans,” said Linda Cabot, founder and president of Bow Seat. “We aim to empower teens to do the same – to use their creative voices to expose what is happening to our oceans, think innovatively about solutions, and communicate a message that inspires both themselves and others to take action.”
Bow Seat’s signature initiative – the annual Ocean Awareness Student Contest – challenges middle and high schoolers to explore the connections between human activities and the health of our oceans through art, writing, film, and music. Nearly 7,000 teens worldwide have participated since the Contest launched in 2012, and more than $286,000 in scholarships have been awarded to Contest winners, educators, and schools. In 2017, Bow Seat received entries from 63 countries and 48 U.S. states.
The Ocean Awareness Student Contest was presented with Project Green Schools’ Sustainability Award at the Annual Green Difference Awards held on April 13th at the Massachusetts State House in Boston. This award recognizes outstanding environmental education programs with a proven track record of five or more years.
Also receiving Green Difference Awards were Bow Seat alumni team Addie Farmer and Lainey Randall – students at King Middle School in Portland, Maine – who were recognized as Outstanding Green Students. Addie and Lainey introduced NOAA’s Marine Debris Tracker mobile app to their community, a simple tool for users to track the litter they find at their area beaches, thus assisting with data collection to ascertain the local marine debris problem. Addie and Lainey hosted a beach clean-up in their community and rallied volunteers to help pick up litter and use the Marine Debris Tracker app to log in data – collectively, they collected nearly 8,000 pieces of trash.
Addie’s and Lainey’s campaign was conducted as part of Bow Seat’s Marine Debris Creative Advocacy Competition, a national challenge in which students design and lead creative campaigns in their community that educate others about marine debris and inspire action to reduce or prevent pollution.
Bow Seat Program Director Alyssa Irizarry was presented with Outstanding Green Education/Program Director, Honorable Mention for her leadership in guiding the organization’s strategic development and success through innovative programming, partnerships, and outreach initiatives. In addition, Alyssa was selected as a finalist for the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network’s 2018 Nonprofit Excellence Awards in the Young Professional category; winners will be announced at the State House on Nonprofit Awareness Day, June 4th, a state holiday signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick in 2007.
“We are thrilled to honor outstanding environmental leadership across the globe while shining a spotlight on our home state of Massachusetts,” said Robin Organ, executive director of Project Green Schools. “These leaders are helping to transform the way we think about and interact with our environment. Their extraordinary ideas and inspiring sustainability initiatives help make exactly the kind of impact needed to take on 21st century challenges while creating a healthier future.”