West Marine Welcomes Submissions for 2nd Annual World Oceans Day Art Contest

Winning artwork will appear on innovative “pieceless” puzzles, available for purchase in select West Marine stores and at Mystic Aquarium in June; all proceeds to benefit nonprofit BlueFuture Fund®

Watsonville, CA, April 3, 2017 —West Marine has announced that its annual World Oceans Day Art Contest is now officially open through Saturday, Apr. 29. During the four-week submission period, the world’s premier Waterlife Outfitter is inviting young artists ages 5-12 and 13-18 to send original artwork inspired by the 2017 World Oceans Day theme, “Our Oceans, Our Future.”

After the submission period closes Apr. 29, a team of West Marine judges will choose one winner in each age category. Entries will be judged on originality, interpretation of the theme, and technical skill based on age.

The two winning pieces of artwork and their artists’ signatures will appear on fun, innovative “pieceless” puzzles, which will be available at the world-class Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, CT, and in select West Marine stores across North America this June. Each winner also will receive a $250 West Marine gift card as a special thank you.

Not only will the contest allow young artists to explore the theme and experiment with a variety of media and techniques (including painting, drawing, printmaking and digital illustration), it will raise much-needed funds for West Marine’s nonprofit BlueFuture Fund. All proceeds from puzzle purchases in both West Marine stores and at Mystic Aquarium between June 5 and 11 will be donated to BlueFuture.

“The money we raise through puzzle purchases will directly fund our fall BlueFuture grants, which we’ll award to 25 nonprofit organizations that are dedicated to providing children with access to the water,” says Lindsey Johnson, West Marine’s Director of Communications. “Signature fundraisers like World Oceans Day are critical to our grant program. To continue awarding 50 grants annually, we must build an engaged community around BlueFuture that’s as passionate as we are.”

“We are honored to be part of West Marine’s World Oceans Day Art Contest in support of BlueFuture, said Katie Cubina, Senior Vice President, Mission Programs at Mystic Aquarium. “It is critically important to connect children to the water as a way to help build stewards for our ocean environment today and in the future. We are proud to help champion this campaign that inspires creativity and engagement.”

To enter the contest, the young artist or a parent or guardian may simply download the submission form at www.westmarine.com/worldoceansday and mail it to West Marine, along with the original artwork.

“We’re eager to see how the World Oceans Day theme inspires young artists and, in turn, how they express themselves to inspire the world,” Johnson says.

World Oceans Day Art Contest submissions will be accepted until 5 p.m. Pacific Time on Saturday, Apr. 29, and winners will be announced in May.

For more information about the contest, to submit an entry and to find a complete list of West Marine stores that will be carrying the BlueFuture puzzles (store details coming soon), visit www.westmarine.com/worldoceansday.

To learn more about West Marine’s 2017 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

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 to foster that connection and explore their passions. With more than 260 stores located in 38 states and Puerto Rico and an eCommerce website reaching domestic, international and professional customers, West Marine is recognized as a leading Waterlife Outfitter for cruisers, sailors, anglers and paddlesports enthusiasts. Since first opening our doors in 1968, West Marine associates continue to share the same love for the water as our customers and provide helpful advice on the gear and gadgets they need to be safe and have fun.

About Mystic Aquarium

Mystic Aquarium, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, is counted among the nation’s leading aquariums with more than 300 species and an extensive collection of marine mammals, including New England’s only belugas. Mystic Aquarium has been a pioneer in offering guests a variety of up close encounters with a wide range of marine animals. The mission of Mystic Aquarium is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through conservation, education and research. Mystic Aquarium receives major support from The Coca-Cola Company, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Resorts World Sentosa and United Technologies Corporation. Learn more at MysticAquarium.org.

Media Contact

Margo Donohue | press@westmarine | 917.679.6945