The artwork and poetry of several southern California students will be included in an exhibit at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro from through January 6. These youth were honored in the 2007 California Coastal Art & Poetry Contest for kindergarten through 12th grade students, presented by the California Coastal Commission. In the 2007 contest, nearly 1,900 entries were received from throughout California.

Among the local artists to be exhibited are Dianne Faith T. Jamandron (5th grade) of Los Angeles, Allysen Bay C. Merrill (6th grade) of Glendale, Shivya Ganesh (2nd grade) of Aliso Viejo, Cary Lin (12th grade) of Irvine, and Sofía Tonatzin Ortíz (2nd grade) and Michael Jankowski (6th grade) of Santa Ana.

Mike, Schaadt, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium Director, commends the student artists and poets: “What a joy it is to see the passion these students have for their ocean and the animals and plants that live there. With their inspirational work, these young people have already made a great contribution to help ensure a healthy future for our marine environment.”

The California Coastal Art & Poetry Contest is held annually to encourage youth to reflect on the beauty and spirit of California’s beaches and ocean. Through this effort the Commission endeavors to inspire a greater sense of appreciation and stewardship for these natural places, since a population that cares about the coast is more likely to conserve and protect it. The deadline for entering the 2008 contest is January 31. For more information about the contest and the Commission’s other education programs, visit or call 800-Coast4U.