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Students get Creative to Spread Awareness of Marine Debris

Winners of the MDC Marine Debris Art contest.
Winners of the MDC Marine Debris Art contest (from left to right): Māhie K., age 8; Lomani Kalei O., age 8; and Kiana B., age 9. Carey Morishige from NOAA's Marine Debris Program and MDC Program Associate Nākoa Goo stand behind them. Credit: Nākoa Goo/NOAA.

The Mokupāpapa Discovery Center in Hilo sponsored an art contest focusing on marine debris, open to students in grades one through six from all public, charter, private and home schools on the Big Island. In total, 98 entries were submitted from six different schools between September 17, 2012 and October 17, 2012.

On the entry forms, contestants were asked: "What are you doing to help keep Hawaiʻi's seas free of marine debris?" to guide their artwork. The contest was judged by PMNM staff, which selected three winners from ten finalists.

The winning artists (pictured above) received lunch bags made of 100-percent recycled material filled with a variety of educational goodies, and a plaque to commemorate their achievement. The winning artwork is currently on display in the Mokupāpapa Discovery Center marine debris exhibit.

Megan Lamson presents on marine debris removal efforts on the Big Island.
Megan Lamson from the Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund presents on marine debris removal efforts on the Big Island. Credit: Nākoa Goo/NOAA

The art contest was held in preparation for the Center's first "Marine Debris Awareness Night," held on November 8, 2012, focused on raising awareness about the global and local impacts of marine debris. The event offered informational booths by participating organizations, which included the Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund, Department of Land and Natural Resources, County of Hawaiʻi Parks & Recreation, and Recycle Hawaiʻi.

Carey Morishige from NOAA's Marine Debris Program gave a presentation on Japan tsunami debris, and Megan Lamson from the Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund presented on marine debris removal efforts on the Big Island. The winners of the marine debris art contest were presented with their plaques and prizes at the event, which was attended by 154 people. For more information, contact Nakoa.Goo@noaa.gov.

And the Winners are:

Artwork by Māhie K.
Artwork by Māhie K.

Māhie K.
Age: 8
Grade: 3
School: Ka ʻUmeke Kāʻeo, PCS
E ʻohiʻohi ana au i ka ʻōpala ma ke kai. E kiloi i ka ʻōpala ma ke kini ʻōpala. Pono e mālama I ke kai. I am going to gather by the ocean. Throw rubbish in the trash can. It is important to care for the sea.


Artwork by Lomani Kalei O.
Artwork by Lomani Kalei O.

Lomani Kalei O.
Age: 8
Grade: 3
School: Ka ʻUmeke Kāʻeo, PCS
I will remember to keep the sea clean. I will tell everybody to stop polluting because the honu get stuck in the soda thing and the fish die and oil slick is bad for the holoholona (animals).


Artwork by Kiana B.
Artwork by Kiana B.

Kiana B.
Age: 9
Grade: 4
School: Hilo Union School
I'm recycling to keep Hawaiʻi's seas free of marine debris. I recycle also not to pollute the air. I hate to see our sea dirty! I recycle cans, papers, bottles, and many other things like metal. Seabirds will die if I don't recycle. Recycling is important. I love to recycle!



And the Finalists are:

Artwork by Gianina M.
Artwork by Gianina M.

Gianina M.
Age: 10
Grade: 5
School: Kamehameha School
My family and I always carry out our own trash when we holoholo, and before we leave we pick up 20 pieces of trash to leave where we are better than before we visited.


Artwork by Dylan H.
Artwork by Dylan H.

Dylan H.
Age: 9
Grade: 4
School: Waiakeawaena School
I will help keep Hawaiʻi's sea free of marine debris by cleaning up rubbish in the water. Making sure people don't throw away their rubbish and not throw it in the water. I don't want Hawaiʻi to be trashed because Hawaiʻi is the best place in the world.


Artwork by Kalei K.
Artwork by Kalei K.

Kalei K.
Age: 8
Grade: 3
School: Ka ʻUmeke Kāʻeo, PCS
Kōkua i ke kai me ke kiloi ʻana i ka ʻōpala ma ke kini ʻōpala. Kōkua i ke kai me ka mālama ʻana i nā holoholona kai. Kōkua i ke kai me ka haʻi ʻana i nā kānaka, "Mai kiloi i ka ʻōpala ma ke kai." Help the ocean by throwing rubbish in the trash can. Help the ocean by caring for sea creatures. Help the ocean by reminding people, "Don't throw trash in the ocean."


Artwork by Noah K.
Artwork by Noah K.

Noah K.
Age: 9
Grade: 4
School: Waiakeawaena School
To help keep seas from trash you must not throw garbage in the ocean. And do not out plastic bottles or cigarettes because it can kill fishes. If there is rubbish then pick it up, like bottles and candy wrappers and cigarettes. If you take care of the ocean, no fish will ever die.


Artwork by Jiselle C.
Artwork by Jiselle C.

Jiselle C.
Age: 9
Grade: 4
School: Waiakeawaena School
To help Hawaiʻi's ocean from trash, I will pick up trash from the surface and any trash that washes up on shore because so when a wave comes again the wave won't take the trash back in the water.


Artwork by Makaleʻa A.
Artwork by Makaleʻa A.

Makaleʻa A.
Age: 8
Grade: 3
School: Ka ʻUmeke Kāʻeo, PCS
He kiʻi kēia no ke kai. Ke ʻolelo nein ā holoholona kai mai hana pēlā o make mākou. Makemake au e kōkua i ke kai a e hoʻomaʻemaʻe I ka ʻōpala. This is a picture of the ocean. The sea creatures are saying not to do that (throw rubbish) or else we will die. I want to help the ocean by cleaning the trash.