2023 Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Contest (Win $1,500 prize)

Applications are open for the Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Contest 2023. The 12th annual Ocean Awareness Contest is a platform for young people to learn about environmental issues through art-making and creative communication, explore their relationship to a changing world, and become advocates for positive change. Students ages 11-18 from around the world are invited to participate.

The 2023 Ocean Awareness Contest – Climate Heroes in Action – encourages students to learn about both climate change and solutions to the climate crisis. They want to celebrate the work of countless everyday heroes fighting to make the world more habitable and just in the face of human-induced climate change. These heroes are leading with determination, resolve, and even joy to create a better world for us all.


  • Gain knowledge about climate change and its relationship to and impact on the ocean. Dive into Bow Seat’s Resource Studio to learn more about the issues; find artists and organizations taking action to protect our blue planet; and discover ways that you can get involved.
  • Grow your skills in communication, critical thinking, creativity, and environmental advocacy. Use your artwork to raise awareness for critical environmental issues.
  • Build your portfolio and make art in your preferred medium, or practice a new one! Add to your resume with a participation certificate.
  • Showcase your talents worldwide. Through art exhibitions, publications, social media campaigns, and scholarships, Bow Seat uplifts diverse youth voices to advance dialogue and participation in ocean conservation and advocacy.
  • Join Bow Seat’s global community of nearly 30,000 young people who care about the ocean, environmental justice, and climate action. Be inspired by the work of other young creators around the world.
  • Be eligible for special opportunities, like the Future Blue Youth Council. Past program participants also serve as Bow Seat interns and Contest judges!
  • Earn cash awards of up to $1,500!

Eligibility Criteria for 2023 Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Contest

  • Students ages 11-18 from around the world are invited to participate in the Ocean Awareness Contest. Enter the division based on your age at the time of entry:
    1. Junior Division: Age 11-14
    2. Senior Division: Age 15-18
  • Students can participate as an individual or as a club, class, or group of any size. All students must provide the contact information for an Adult Sponsor (teacher, parent, mentor, etc.).
  • Students who have started college or university are not eligible to participate in the Contest.

Submissions are accepted in:

  • Visual Art
  • Poetry & Spoken Word
  • Creative Writing
  • Film
  • Performing Arts: Music & Dance
  • Interactive & Multimedia

Judging Criteria

Judges consider:

  • How well submissions address the annual theme of the Contest;
  • Demonstration of artistic voice, originality, and imagination;
  • Craftsmanship, including quality, technique, and skill in chosen medium; attention to detail; and accuracy in communicating issues; and
  • If a submission meets category requirements (such as length, file type, etc.).

How To Apply

This is an international contest open to middle and high school students ages 11-18. Make sure you read all of the Contest rulessubmission requirements, and other details before you get started.

Click here to enter

The Application Deadline is 13th June 2023

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