Youth Art Month 2022: Marine art contests supported by NOAA

NOAA and our partners offer several art contests and campaigns that engage creative minds in Earth science. In honor of Youth Art Month in March, this gallery of artwork showcases ocean priorities, marine species, and conservation issues through the eyes of student artists.

Feeling inspired? Consider submitting your own creations and check out our other at-home art activities.

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K-12 Marine Art Contest focusing on sanctuary biodiversity

The 2022 Marine Art Contest, co-sponsored by Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and the Massachusetts Marine Educators offsite link, is now underway. The deadline for the art contest is May 11, 2022. With submission topics ranging from tiny plankton to giant whales, students from anywhere in the world are invited to submit artwork that explores the biodiversity of Stellwagen Bank sanctuary. Winning art is posted on the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary website and co-sponsors provide a variety of prizes. See the contest brochure for rules and an entry form or write to stellwagen@noaa.gov for more information.

Artwork of a humpback whale under the sea.
"Humpback Whale" by Sophia S., grade 10, was one of the winners of the 2021 Marine Art Contest co-sponsored by Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and Massachusetts Marine Educators. (Josephine G., 2021 Stellwagen Bank Marine Art Contest)
Artwork of an adult shearwater meeting a juvenile shearwater bird at the surface of the water.
"Great Shearwaters" by Helen H., grade 11, was one of the winners of the 2021 Marine Art Contest co-sponsored by Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and Massachusetts Marine Educators. (Helen H., 2021 Stellwagen Bank Marine Art Contest)
Artwork of a Green sea turtle face with its mouth agape.
"Green Sea Turtle Face" by Noah C., grade 6, was one of the winners of the 2021 Marine Art Contest co-sponsored by Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and Massachusetts Marine Educators. (Noah C., 2021 Stellwagen Bank Marine Art Contest)
Artwork of two squid with iridescent blue, pink, and purple colors.
"Longfin Squid" by Irene Z., grade 8, was one of the winners of the 2021 Marine Art Contest co-sponsored by Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and Massachusetts Marine Educators. (Irene Z., 2021 Stellwagen Bank Marine Art Contest)
Artwork of a jellyfish with purple and orange tentacles.
"Lion's Mane Jelly" by Marley K., grade 1, was one of the winners of the 2021 Marine Art Contest co-sponsored by Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and Massachusetts Marine Educators. (Marley K., 2021 Stellwagen Bank Marine Art Contest)
Artwork of a marine invertebrate with neon colors at the head.
"Sea Gooseberry" by Robert K., grade 2, was one of the winners of the 2021 Marine Art Contest co-sponsored by Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and Massachusetts Marine Educators. (Robert K., 2021 Stellwagen Bank Marine Art Contest)
Artwork of a blue wolffish with sharp teeth and a yellow eye.
"Wolffish" by Obadiah C., grade 8, was one of the winners of the 2021 Marine Art Contest co-sponsored by Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and Massachusetts Marine Educators. (Obadiah C., 2021 Stellwagen Bank Marine Art Contest)

Marine Endangered Species Art Contest

NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region encourages artists in kindergarten through grade 12 to celebrate marine endangered species. While the contest focuses on species native to New England and the Mid-Atlantic, students anywhere are welcome to participate. Winning artwork goes on display on the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office’s website and Facebook page and is featured in an online calendar. Submissions for 2022 are due by email to nmfs.gar.es-art-contest@noaa.gov by Friday, April 22, 2022.

Artwork of sea turtles swimming among plastics, like plastic bags, utensils and bottles, in the ocean.
This artwork titled, "Keep the Sea Free of Debris," by Dagny T., grade 2, was one of the winners of the 2021 Annual Marine Endangered Species Art Contest hosted by NOAA Fisheries. (Dagny T., 2021 Marine Endangered Species Art Contest)
Artwork of a right whale with fishing pot line wrapped around its fluke.
This artwork titled, "Right Whale Entanglement," by Addison J., grade 4, was one of the winners of the 2021 Annual Marine Endangered Species Art Contest hosted by NOAA Fisheries. (Addison J., 2021 Marine Endangered Species Art Contest)
Artwork of a sea turtle with its neck stuck in a fishing net and a can of leaking oil nearby.
This artwork titled, "I Can't Breathe," by Noah C., grade 6, was one of the winners of the 2021 Annual Marine Endangered Species Art Contest hosted by NOAA Fisheries. (Noah C., 2021 Marine Endangered Species Art Contest)
Artwork of whales turtles, sturgeon and fish oriented in a way that reads "Help." There are various plastics floating near the animals.
This artwork titled, "A Message From the Sea," by Aurora N., grade 9, was one of the winners of the 2021 Annual Marine Endangered Species Art Contest hosted by NOAA Fisheries. (Aurora N., 2021 Marine Endangered Species Art Contest)
A sculpture of a blue whale.
This sculpture titled, "The Blue Whale Adventure," by Michael G., grade 2, was one of the winners of the 2021 Annual Marine Endangered Species Art Contest hosted by NOAA Fisheries. ( Michael G., 2021 Marine Endangered Species Art Contest)
A sculpture of a sperm whale.
This sculpture titled, "Sperm Whale," by Jaylin F., grade 4, was one of the winners of the 2021 Annual Marine Endangered Species Art Contest hosted by NOAA Fisheries. (Jaylin F., 2021 Marine Endangered Species Art Contest)
A sculpture of an oceanic white tip shark swimming above pilot fish.
This sculpture titled, "Mutualistic Relationship, Oceanic White Tip Shark and Pilot Fish," by Margaret C., grade 7, was one of the winners of the 2021 Annual Marine Endangered Species Art Contest hosted by NOAA Fisheries. ( Margaret C., 2021 Marine Endangered Species Art Contest)

Keep the Sea Free of Debris

The NOAA Marine Debris Program holds this annual art contest to reach kindergarten through eighth grade students and help raise awareness about marine debris. The winning submissions are featured in a calendar to remind us all that we can be responsible stewards of the ocean every day. The Marine Debris Art Contest will re-open in fall of 2022.

Artwork of dolphins and other marine animals swimming with debris around them.
This artwork by Jeewoo S., grade 8, was one of the winners of the 2022 NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest. (Jeewoo S., 2022 NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest)
Artwork of a large red anglerfish with a submarine top and a medic sign. Surrounding the fish are lots of marine animals that are sick and being tended to by a nurse in scuba gear.
This artwork by Simone L., grade 1, was one of the winners of the 2022 NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest. (Simone L., 2022 NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest)
Artwork of marine animals holding plastic bags full of trash. Text: Together we can make the ocean free of debris!
This artwork by Rose L., grade 2, was one of the winners of the 2022 NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest. (Rose L., 2022 NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest)
Artwork of a dolphin and a whale wrapped in fishing line. Marine debris in the ocean spell out "SOS."
This artwork by Ziqian W., grade 3, was one of the winners of the 2022 NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest. (Ziqian W., 2022 NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest)
Artwork of large squid holding signs that say "stop," and "No Debris." Smaller fish and seahorses hold signs that say "Clean the ocean." Marine debris floats around them.
This artwork by Cameron Y., grade 3, was one of the winners of the 2022 NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest. (Cameron Y., 2022 NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest)
Artwork of marine animals swimming just under the surface passing by plastic bottles and bags. A shark cries out for help at the surface of the water.
This artwork by Jeu S., grade 4, was one of the winners of the 2022 NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest. (Jeu S., 2022 NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest)
Artwork of a beach with picket signs that read, "Save our sea creatures," "No throwing trash," and "No littering." There is plastic debris on the beach as well as in the surface of the water. Text: Keep the sea free of debris!"
This artwork by Arianna E., grade 5, was one of the winners of the 2022 NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest. (Arianna E., 2022 NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest)
Artwork of a giant squid holding a banner that reads, "Do your part for you and them before it's too late." The squid is surrounded by other small marine life and plastic debris.
This artwork by Olivia M., grade 5, was one of the winners of the 2022 NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest. (Olivia M., 2022 NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest)
Artwork of an underwater scene with a dump truck underwater pouring our plastic and other debris into the ocean.
This artwork by Daniel N., grade 5, was one of the winners of the 2022 NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest. (Daniel N., 2022 NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest)
Artwork of a water bottle with a girl sitting on the Earth and surrounded by plastics.  There are other animals sealed in jars. Text: Pollutants are harming animals. But they aren't the only ones being trapped."
This artwork by Margaret H., grade 6, was one of the winners of the 2022 NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest. (Margaret H., 2022 NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest)
Artwork of a coral reef surrounded by animals and plastic debris.
This artwork by Janet L., grade 6, was one of the winners of the 2022 NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest. (Janet L., 2022 NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest)
Artwork of a jellyfish in the ocean. The jellyfish is made up of pieces of garbage and plastic debris.
This artwork by Jayden M., grade 7, was one of the winners of the 2022 NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest. (Jayden M., 2022 NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest)
Artwork of a cityscape and the surface of the ocean. A large, human hand made out of garbage and plastic debris reaches into the ocean and touches a manta ray.
This artwork by Emerson H., grade 8, was one of the winners of the 2022 NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest. (Emerson H., 2022 NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest)