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Photo Contest Turns Lenses Toward Ocean Conservation

Scuba divers and ocean enthusiasts give it their best eco shot in this unique contest

Project AWARE Foundation and SeaWeb’s Marine Photobank are again joining forces to host the second annual photo contest to encourage photographers to turn their lenses in a different direction. The Ocean in Focus Conservation Photography Contest seeks entries that show impacts on marine environments and inspire conservation actions.

Photographers of all experience levels—including conservationists, scientists, divers, travelers and students—are encouraged to vie for the Grand Prize: a diving vacation that includes a seven-night stay at Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco-Adventure Resort.  Prizes also include coral-inspired necklaces from Hannah Garrison, 16 tons of carbon offsets from NativeEnergy and more.

Photographers with an environmental eye will compete for prizes in two contest categories: Species of Concern/Ecosystem Decline and Humans and the Ocean: Impacts and Solutions. These images will help researchers, educators and non-governmental organizations depict and address ocean issues.

“As AWARE divers, we have a personal relationship with underwater environments and often see damage to underwater ecosystems,” said Jenny Miller Garmendia. “But we are also often part of the solution by participating in ongoing conservation projects around the world. This photo contest gives divers and water enthusiasts opportunities to tell these conservation stories through powerful imagery.”

“This photo contest is geared toward advancing ocean conservation through the power of imagery,” said SeaWeb President Dawn M. Martin. “There are many problems to be addressed in the ocean. Anyone who holds a camera in their hand has the power to change the hearts and minds of people around them through the images they capture and the inspiration those images can provide.”

The contest, which began June 8, 2009, will accept photo entries through August 27, 2009. Partner organizations and sponsors for this year’s contest aim to inspire high-quality images that deliver powerful conservation messages and help illuminate the challenges facing our oceans. For complete contest submission details visit www.marinephotobank.org.

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