West Marine’s BlueFuture Program Launches World Oceans Day Bag Design Contest

Reusable, eco-friendly bags available in select stores across North America this June; proceeds from June 1-8 bag sales to benefit nonprofit BlueFuture Fund®

Watsonville, CA, April 8, 2016 –West Marine, the world’s premier Waterlife Outfitter, has announced the launch of an exciting new competition for fledgling young artists through its BlueFuture Program, aimed at supporting youth-based initiatives on and around the water. It’s called the World Oceans Day Bag Design Contest, and not only will it support the company’s nonprofit BlueFuture Fund, it also will allow young people to inspire others through their own unique artistic vision.

Starting April 8, West Marine’s BlueFuture Program is inviting children ages 5-12 and teens ages 13-18 to submit original artwork inspired by the 2016 World Oceans Day theme — Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet. Youth artists may use a variety of media and techniques, including painting, drawing, printmaking and digital illustration.

A panel of West Marine judges will review entries by age group and choose a winner in each of the two categories. Entries will be judged on originality, interpretation of the theme and technical skill based on age. Both pieces of winning artwork and the artists’ signatures will appear on reusable, eco-friendly bags, which will be available for purchase in select West Marine stores across North America starting Wednesday, June 1, at a cost of $5 each. All of the proceeds generated from bag sales will be donated to the BlueFuture Fund, which serves to fund grants for youth-based organizations dedicated to getting kids on and around the water in recreational and educational capacities.

Each winner of the World Oceans Day Bag Design Contest also will receive a $250 West Marine gift card as a special thank you.

“To enter the contest, a parent or guardian may simply help their young artist fill out our online submission form, which can be downloaded at www.westmarine.com/worldoceansday, and mail that in to West Marine along with the artwork,” says Lindsey Johnson, West Marine’s Director of Communications. “We’re eager to see how the World Oceans Day theme inspires our country’s young artists and, in turn, how they express themselves to inspire the world.”

To commemorate World Oceans Day, all proceeds from bag sales June 1-8 will be donated to West Marine’s nonprofit BlueFuture Fund, which will be gearing up for its fall grant cycle. BlueFuture provides much-needed funding to community-based, nonprofit organizations across North America that are dedicated to fostering youth waterlife adventure, education and stewardship.

World Oceans Day Bag Design Contest submissions will be accepted until 5 p.m. Pacific Time Friday, April 22, and winners will be announced prior to June 1.

For more information about the contest and to submit an entry, visit www.westmarine.com/worldoceansday. And to learn more about West Marine’s 2016 BlueFuture grants, and for detailed information about the company’s BlueFuture initiative and how you can help, visit www.westmarine.com/BlueFuture.

About West Marine
Each person has a unique connection to the water. At West Marine (westmarine.com,NASDAQ: WMAR), our knowledge, enthusiasm and products prepare waterlife adventurers tofoster that connection and explore their passions. With more than 260 stores located in 38states and Puerto Rico and an eCommerce website reaching domestic, international andprofessional customers, West Marine is recognized as a leading Waterlife Outfitter for cruisers,sailors, anglers and paddlesports enthusiasts. Since first opening our doors in 1968, WestMarine associates continue to share the same love for the water as our customers and providehelpful advice on the gear and gadgets they need to be safe and have fun.

Media Contact

Margo Donohue | press@westmarine.com | 917.679.6945