Ocean Fest Seeks Student Art, Writings

Plans for the second annual North Shore Ocean Fest are under way, and contests promoting it began April 1 for students in K-12 from Kaaawa to Waialua.

Scheduled from noon to 6 p.m. June 1 at Turtle Bay Resort and sponsored by the North Shore Ocean Education Coalition (NSOEC), the free festival is all about protecting the ocean – “Malama i ke Kai” – which also is the theme for the keiki art, poetry and short-story competitions.

Students are invited to “explore the ocean ecosystem and form a sense of personal connection to the ocean” through visual art (posters), poetry and original stories. Entries must be submitted by noon May 1 and will be judged on creativity, artistic merit, representation of the ocean and marine animals, and understanding of ocean protection and stewardship. Computer-generated artwork and text will not be accepted. First-place winners receive a Dolphin Encounter, and grade-level winners get free admission to Sea Life Park. All entrants receive a North Shore Ocean Guardian membership card.

“After the success of last year’s partnership with Turtle Bay to host Ocean Fest, we have since organized several educational efforts at the resort,” said event coordinator Dotty Kelly-Paddock. “We are excited to offer a full schedule of action-packed activities this year, both in and out of the water, for our keiki to learn about environmental conservation.”

The NSOEC is made up of Hui O Hauula, NOAA Pacific Islands Regional Office, Monk Seal Foundation, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, Malama Pupukea-Waimea and Turtle Bay Resort.

“This event is inspired by the value of kuleana, or responsibility, to ensure the sustainability of the ocean through education and protection,” added Drew Stotesbury, Turtle Bay CEO. “We invite everyone, especially our keiki, to participate in Ocean Fest and learn from Hawaii’s top leaders in ocean conservation.”

For contest details, entry forms and vendor information, visit nsoec.word-press.com, call 255-6944 or email dotty.kelly@verizon.net. Vendor space is limited, and the fee is $100 (by May 25). Fax vendor forms to 293-5390. A film fest competition also is planned for short films about the ocean, culture and community.