From left to right: Ocean Art Contest winners Annika McFarlane, Alyssa Cheung, and Emily Geraghty with Vancouver Aquarium’s president and CEO John Nightingale

Last March, the Vancouver Aquarium was proud to announce the four regional winners of its Ocean Art Contest, who all presented their own interpretations of ocean literacy through artwork and essays. This month, we learned that two of these regional winners – Alyssa Cheung and Annika McFarlane – have also been announced as winners of the national competition, which means that they will be flown to Washington D.C. to view their artwork on World Oceans Day (June 8) at the Smithsonian Museum!

The contest asked students to create an original piece of artwork along with an essay that describes one or more of the Ocean Literacy Principles to raise awareness about the importance of our oceans. As residents of B.C., we are intimately linked with the Pacific Ocean and rely on it for food, transportation and climate control. If we didn’t have it, our lives would be very different.

National winner Annika McFarlane agrees. “It’s good that art can impact something as important as the ocean, and I hope others are inspired,” says Annika, a ninth-grade student at Windsor Secondary School in North Vancouver.

Care for the ocean also fueled national winner Alyssa Cheung’s desire to participate in the contest. “When I saw what was happening to the ocean, I just wanted to do something about it,” she says.

In addition to Alyssa and Annika, the Vancouver Aquarium also congratulates two other regional contest winners, Emily Geraghty and Cindy Fu . Photos of winning artwork from all four regional contest winners can be found here.

Vancouver Aquarium’s regional contest was one of 20 spearheaded by the Coastal America Partnership, an alliance of governmental and non-governmental entities in the US, Mexico and Canada dedicated to restoring and preserving coastal ecosystems.