Marine Debris Creative Advocacy Competition
After three exciting years, the Marine Debris Creative Advocacy Competition has completed its program.
We are proud to have inspired more than 400 young people around the world to lead creative campaigns to protect waterways and coasts from the impacts of plastic pollution.
Though this program has ended, we look forward to providing future opportunities to support your work and creative ideas to make a difference for the health of our blue planet!View Global Map
Congratulations to our 2019 Winners!
MESSAGE FROM THE FOUNDER, LINDA CABOT
Congratulations to the 2019 winners of the Marine Debris Creative Advocacy Competition! Water connects us all—whether we live in island nations, landlocked communities, or coastal cities—and marine debris is a global, borderless problem that requires a large-scale effort to address.
We are thrilled that our program helped to cultivate stewardship and activism in young people around the world, and we are so impressed by the creative, sophisticated, and impactful campaigns that they implemented. These projects reflect the leadership of today’s youth, who are directing incredible social movements to advocate for the changes they want to see in their communities and for their futures.MEET THE WINNERS
Bow Seat’s Marine Debris Creative Advocacy Competition launched in 2016 with support from a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program.
Youth ages 11-18 from around the world were challenged to design and lead creative advocacy campaigns in their schools and communities that:
- Educated the public about marine debris
- Inspired people to adopt ocean-conscious behaviors
- Engaged others in an activity that reduced or prevented marine debris
- Advocated creative and realistic solutions for the marine debris issue
From beach cleanups to art shows to campaigns that eliminate single-use plastic products from cafeterias and local businesses, youth around the world rallied to raise awareness of and address the marine debris problem through creativity, community engagement, and activism.VIEW STUDENT CAMPAIGNS
“The most meaningful part of this project was realizing the true extent of the impact I can have… I could see the benefit of what I was doing not only in cleaned stretches of beach, but in the behaviors of the people around me. I now feel that, if I work at this my entire life, I’ll be able to achieve so much good, and I hope it will spread until we can once again live in harmony with our Earth. This project taught me that I have the power, and I just have to use it.”
—SWATI G., 2018 PARTICIPANT
Competition: By the Numbers
430 Student Participants
$38,450 Scholarships Awarded
Global Youth-Led Campaigns
Why “Creative Advocacy”?
Advocacy is an activity by an individual or group that aims to influence decisions and change behavior. At Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs, we believe in the power of the creative arts to raise awareness of the marine debris problem in ways that inspire the public to take action.
Access to facts, while important, does not alone inspire long-term, measurable behavior change. The creative expression of information is a powerful tool that taps into human emotions and speaks to personal beliefs, which is necessary to drive a widespread cultural shift away from our “throwaway culture” and toward one that values the health of our oceans.VIEW STUDENT CAMPAIGNS
“I used to think that I needed to save the environment with a huge monumental task, and that it might be made in a scientific way when I am older. This project has me thinking differently. I have learned that a bunch of people doing small things can create a huge impact, and I learned that I don’t have to wait until I have a college degree to better my planet!”
—HANNAH G., 2017 PARTICIPANT