West Marine announces BlueFuture 2017 World Oceans Day Art Contest winners

West Marine has announced the two winners of its second annual World Oceans Day Art Contest: 12-year-old Alexandra R., a seventh-grader from South Windsor, Conn.; and 10-year-old Owen G., a fourth-grader from Cream Ridge, N.J.

For this contest, the company invited young people to submit original artwork inspired by the 2017 World Oceans Day theme — Our Oceans, Our Future. In keeping with that theme, Alexandra’s artwork, titled “The Peaceful Ocean,” depicts an apex predator who plays a critical role in maintaining healthy ocean ecosystems.

“I decided to draw a shark because, ever since I was 4, I have been obsessed with them,” she said. “Sharks are getting killed every day due to shark finning, which is heartbreaking. Many people don’t care because they’re frightened of sharks or don’t know about the issue. This drawing was made to show the true beauty of sharks and the ocean.”

In Owen’s piece, titled “We Love Our Oceans,” he reveals a healthy, vibrant world below the waves — one with a touch of whimsy about it.

“Our oceans are important because they give us life and also entertain us,” he said.

A panel of West Marine judges selected the winning artwork based on originality, interpretation of the theme and age-appropriate technical skills. Both pieces of winning artwork will appear on “pieceless” puzzles, which will be available for $10 apiece in select West Marine stores and at the Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Conn., starting Monday, June 5.

All proceeds from puzzle sales June 5-11 will be donated to West Marine’s nonprofit BlueFuture Fund, which provides grants to community-based, nonprofit organizations across North America that are dedicated to providing young people with access to the water.

Each winner of the World Oceans Day Art Contest also is receiving a $250 West Marine gift card as an additional thank you.

World Oceans Day is a major annual fundraiser for West Marine, allowing it to grow the BlueFuture Fund, reach more nonprofit organizations across the country and, ultimately, help provide more opportunities for children to spend time on and around the water. To learn more about the BlueFuture initiative and how you can help, visit www.westmarine.com/BlueFuture.

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