Here’s something free and fun to add to the summer to-do list: go out and take in some sun and ocean air aboard the Stardust while competing to capture the best photo and/or fish in the waters of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.
Put on by the Sportfishing Conservancy (which is supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), “The Sanctuary Classic” contest is already in full swing, having kicked off on June 9. Continuing through to September 3, the summer-long competition aims to encourage youngsters and their families to bond and become familiar with the marine habitat, fostering a strong sense of stewardship and environmental consciousness.
And such efforts won’t go without reward. Every week of summer, $100 gift card prizes will be given out for the top photos and catch-releases. Top performers, too, can potentially receive $1,000 scholarships. A total of four scholarships are available, and they will be awarded on the basis of exemplifying one of five themes: Kids Fishing, Kids and Family Fishing Values, Kids in the Sanctuaries, Kids in the Outdoors, and Kids and Conservation.
Chris Mobley, superintendent of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, is “very excited” for this year’s event and would like for everyone “to visit and enjoy their national marine sanctuaries,” which include not only the Channel Islands but also Monterey Bay, the Florida Keys, and Gray’s Reef in Georgia.
He added that the competition “demonstrates the administration’s commitment to work collaboratively with partners to expand recreation and tourism opportunities” while “supporting sustainable, high-quality sportfishing in our oceans for the health of our children, our environment, and our economy.”
To participate in the competition, register and submit your photos online at http://www.sanctuaryclassic.org. Make sure to let your family and friends know of your participation, because your photos must be voted on to win.