NAMEPA launches joint Art Contest featuring IMO’s 50th Anniversary of MARPOL

January 5, 2023 – Students in grades K–12 are invited to participate in the annual calendar art contest sponsored by the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA), the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and the Inter-American Committee on Ports of the Organization of American States (CIP-OAS). The theme for this year’s contest is “MARPOL at 50 – Our Commitment Goes On” reflecting on the history and importance of protecting the planet and the ocean from the impact of shipping. The theme reflects the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) 2023 World Maritime Day Theme. Submissions will be accepted from students across the Americas (North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean). Students living outside the Americas are welcome to apply, provided they have one or more parents on active duty with the U. S. Coast Guard. Submissions will be accepted from January 9th to April 1, 2023 at 11:59 PM.

(En Español:

Students are asked to submit an original poster that creatively depicts the history and importance of protecting the planet and the ocean from the impact of shipping and their original artwork should be based on the contest theme description below:

The Torrey Canyon oil spill in 1967, the largest oil disaster at the time, was one of the key moments that led to the development of the MARPOL Convention (International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships). Today, MARPOL covers pollution of the sea by oil, noxious liquid substances in bulk, harmful substances in packaged form, sewage and garbage from ships, air pollution from ship emissions, and regulation of energy efficient. The Convention has evolved through the years, including the 2018 adoption of the Initial IMO Greenhouse Gas Strategy to decarbonize the sector as soon as possible before the end of this century.

Can you think of ways to depict innovative and sustainable maritime industry practices to protect the planet and the ocean from the impact of shipping?

Students are asked to submit an original poster, by April 1, 2023, depicting the history and importance of protecting the planet and the ocean from the impact of shipping.

Twelve entries (six from grades K–5 and six from grades 6–12) will be selected as finalists by May 1. Winners will be required to submit their original artwork upon being notified of their selection as finalists. The winning artwork will be featured on the NAMEPA, USCG, and CIP-OAS websites, as well as on a printed bilingual (English & Spanish) calendar distributed throughout the Americas. Finalists will receive a certificate and a calendar with the artwork from all 12 winners. Two grand prize-winning artists, chosen from the finalists in each of the grade brackets, will receive a $100 cash prize and a USCG prize package, in addition to the certificate and calendar.

Who: Students in grades K–12.

What: Each entry must be a two-dimensional, original piece of artwork done on white poster board with dimensions of 24” x 18” or 32” x 24” (61 cm x 46 cm or 81 cm x 61 cm) in the landscape orientation. Any art medium may be used; however, computer graphics will not be accepted. Bright colors should be used because they are best for reprinting. Any artwork that includes copyrighted or trademarked product names will be disqualified. The student’s name or school should not appear on the front or back of the artwork.

When: All entries must be uploaded by April 1, 2023.

How: You must take a high-resolution (at least 3072 x 2304 pixels) digital photograph of your poster in order to submit your entry. You or your teacher/facilitator must then upload the digital photo of your poster along with your name, grade, school/after-school program name, school/after-school program address, and teacher/facilitator’s name, phone number, and e-mail address via the submission form at NAMEPA Art Calendar

For complete “MARPOL at 50 – Our Commitment Goes On” art contest guidelines, submission instructions, prize details, and more information about the maritime shipping industry, visit If you have additional questions about the contest, please contact


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 and facilitates the development of competitive, sustainable, secure, and inclusive ports in the Hemisphere by actively facilitating cooperation between the highest governmental level and the private sector. CIP collaborates with its nearly 100 members, associate members and strategic partners to promote the protection of the marine environment and sustainable port management practices, competitive logistics, protection and security, tourism and services to ships, legislation and regulation, and social responsibility and gender equality.  For more information, visit


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


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.

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