The 27th annual Kids Ocean Day has found a winner for the program’s inaugural art contest.
Sixth grader Tracy N., from Garden Grove, was awarded first place for her piece, along with a $100 gift card to a craft store, and was featured as the main image of an online mosaic that was compiled with artwork from every other submission.
Second place went to seventh grader Liana S. in McKinleyville; and third grader Sophia M., in Tarzana, received third place.
The Malibu Foundation for Environmental Education, which organized the contest, did not provide last names for the winners.
“We’re proud of the participating schools and teachers for incorporating this program into their lesson plans,” Los Angeles Department of Public Works Board Vice President Aura Garcia said in a statement. “It’s never too early to start teaching students the value of conserving resources, recycling and reducing the use of plastics to keep our local rivers, creeks and ocean clean.
“And through art,” she added. “our young people share a collective voice in sending out a message to protect our oceans.”
For nearly 30 years, the Malibu Foundation for Environmental Education has held in-person assemblies at elementary schools throughout Southern California, culminating the program with a clean-up event at Dockweiler State Beach, in Los Angeles County, on World Ocean Day.
The program is funded and supported by the California Coastal Commission, the City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works, and LA Sanitation & Environment.
But because of the coronavirus pandemic, the foundation shifted to holding virtual presentations and a statewide student art contest. The foundation revealed the winners on Tuesday, June 8, which was World Ocean Day.
All of the entries were combined to form a mosaic based on the winning entry, with various ocean life — including a jelly fish, seat turtle and dolphins — swimming around a heart.
“Kids Ocean Day 2021 is different from past years but is still very impactful,” Chris Parry, who oversees the California Coastal Commission’s Public Education Program, said in a statement. “With each student’s ocean-themed artwork forming part of a collective art project, together they are making a powerful statement about their shared commitment to care for California’s beaches and the Pacific Ocean.”