Art Competitions

Hold an ocean art, writing, video or photography contest. Pick the winners on World Ocean Day and hold a ceremony where the winners can share or display their works with your community.

Looking for more audience participation? Sponsor a “paint-off” and invite participants to paint ocean-themed pictures in front of an audience. The best works (selected by the audience) can be showcased at your organization or a local zoo, aquarium, museum, library, or other public place. Be sure to use eco-friendly paint! Alternatively, create artwork from other materials, even trash!
Check out Bow Seat‘s annual Ocean Awareness Art Contest!

And no matter what the competition, encourage everyone to share why they think it’s important to be involved with catalyzing action for our ocean and climate.

Credit: Benjamin Cowburn

Exhibitions and Galleries

Host a photo or art exhibit featuring ocean-themed works by local students or artists that express their connection to the ocean and their concern about ocean issues.

Invite professional ocean artists to display their work at your business or organization. The traveling Washed Ashore exhibit creates unique art displays out of plastic pollution that can help activate involvement. 

Human Formations

Organize a piece of temporary art! Spread the word on social media and get a group of volunteers to make a large human formation in the shape of an ocean creature or inspiring conservation message. 

Invite the local media to photograph the formations or take photographs yourself and submit them to blogs and newspapers along with a story about World Ocean Day and ocean conservation. 

Photo Credit: Marine Conservation Philippines


Create a mural in a public place in honor of the ocean. Get together a group of local artists and get permission to paint a public wall. The mural could include a few easy actions people could take to protect the ocean or a beautiful ocean scene. Instead of paint, also consider using other materials like glass for mosaics or even pieces of plastic! 

Take a look at PangeaSeed‘s stunning global mural initiative for the ocean, SeaWalls

And you can further help by encouraging everyone to continue catalyzing action for ocean and climate!

Letter Writing

Empower students and members of your community to take action in the form of persuasive and artistic letters in support of ocean conservation! Use this as a lesson plan or as a fun art activity and write to local officials or businesses encouraging better choices for the environment and the ocean. Pick a local conservation issue that resonates with your community, or alternatively, continue incorporating this year’s action theme: catalyzing action for ocean and climate. 

For more guidance and resources for a handmade letter writing campaign, check out Love Letters to the Sea!

Credit: Love Letters to the Sea