Winners announced for “Connecting Ships, Ports and People” art contest

Art and auctions, Associations, Charity, Environment — By on May 12, 2017 at 2:03 PM

Finalist Rachel Pizzolato, a 7th grader at John Curtis Christian School in River Ridge, Louisiana, holds her winning artwork titled “In Balance”. Rachel’s artwork and the artwork of 11 other winning students will be featured in the 2018 “Connecting Ships, Ports and People” Calendar.

Annual Student Art Contest Winners– Connecting Ships, Ports and People

SOUTHPORT, CT—May 12, 2017- Two grand prize winners and ten finalists have been chosen from over 500 entries in the 2017 “Connecting Ships, Ports and People” calendar art contest sponsored by the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA), the United States Coast Guard (USCG), Mystic Aquarium and the Inter-American Committee on Ports of the Organization of American States (CIP-OAS). Each year, these organizations invite students enrolled in grades K-12 throughout the Americas (North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean) to create a poster on a theme related to the marine environment and the maritime industry.

The 2017 contest celebrated the men and women employed on the ships and at the ports who work very hard to ensure that shipping remains the most environmentally friendly and safest way to transport goods across the world before reaching our homes, schools, and communities. Students were asked to submit an original poster that creatively depicts the connections among ships, ports and people and how these connections affect our everyday lives.

In September 2017, the winning artwork will be featured on the NAMEPA, USCG, Mystic Aquarium and CIP-OAS websites, as well as at the London headquarters of the International Maritime Organization- the United Nations body governing the maritime industry- for the World Maritime Day celebration . Finalists will receive a certificate and a calendar with the artwork from all 12 winners. The two grand-prize winning artists (one from each of the grade brackets) will receive, in addition to the certificate and calendar, a $100 cash prize and a USCG prize package.  The 2018 calendars showcasing the winning entries will be bilingual (English and Spanish).

For more information about “Connecting Ships, Ports and People”, visit

Grand Prize Winners

K-5th Grades

Nelson Valencia – Grade 3, Unidad Educativa Atahualpa, Ibarara, Ecuador

6th-12th Grades

Camille Quindica – Grade 7, Kapolei Middle School, Kapolei, Hawaii, United States


K-5th Grades

Christian Bacca- Grade 5, Instituto Dr. Marco Aurelio Soto, San Lorenzo, Valle, Honduras
Dakota Bitterman- Grade 4, Cedar Road Elementary, Chesapeake, Virginia, United States
Theo Campoverde- Grade 2, Unidad Educativa Particular Católica de Cuenca, Cuenca, Ecuador
Edna Canales- Grade 5, La Estancia School, Comayagüela, Francisco Morazán, Honduras
Brandon Aron Larrea Yepez- Grade 1, Unidad Educativa Atahualpa, Ibarara, Ecuador

6th-12th Grades

Zulmy Almendarez- Grade 8, CEB Republica de Honduras, Choluteca, Honduras
Daniela Paredes, Grade 8, La Estancia School, Comayagüela, Francisco Morazán, Honduras

Rachel Pizzolato, Grade 7, John Curtis Christian School, River Ridge, Louisiana, United States
John Dang Vo, Grade 7, River Road Middle School, Elizabeth City, North Carolina, United States
Aisha Wilson, Grade 6, Spanish Town Primary School, Spanish Town, St. Catherine, Jamaica

North American Marine Environment Protection Association

The North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) is a marine industry-led organization of environmental stewards preserving the marine environment by promoting sustainable marine industry best practices and educating seafarers, students and the public about the need and strategies for protecting global ocean, lake and river resources. For more information, visit .

United States Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard is one of the five armed forces of the United States and the only military organization within the Department of Homeland Security. Since 1790 the Coast Guard has safeguarded our maritime and environmental interests around the world. The Coast Guard is an adaptable, responsive military force of maritime professionals whose broad legal authorities, capable assets, geographic diversity and expansive partnerships provide a persistent presence along our rivers, in the ports, littoral regions and on the high seas. Coast Guard presence and impact is local, regional, national and international. These attributes make the Coast Guard a unique instrument of maritime safety, security and environmental stewardship. For more information, visit

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


The Inter-American Committee on Ports (CIP) of the Organization of American States (OAS) brings together the National Port Authorities of all 35 sovereign nations of the Americas. CIP promotes competitive, sustainable, inclusive and secure maritime sector development by facilitating policy dialogue at the highest governmental and corporate levels. With close to 100 public and private members representing leading institutions from the maritime industry, CIP strengthens, in collaboration with its partners, institutional and human capacities through seminars, workshops, conferences, courses and scholarship programs. CIP priority areas include, in addition to promoting the protection of the marine environment and sustainable port management practices, competitiveness and logistics; protection and security; tourism and services to ships; legislation and regulation; and CSR and gender equality. For more information, visit

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