California Coastal Commission

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2013 Coastal Art & Poetry Contest Honorable Mentions


Amazing Seal

Ojas Mehta
1st Grade, Tustin

Hello, Ocean

Hello, ocean,
My new best friend!
Here I come again.
Through the fence
And down the steps I go.

I see the ocean,
Bright and blue,
Sometimes bubbly white,
And greenish blue too.

Piles of kelp lying in the
Black and gray bands of sand,
I pick one up
And put it in my hand.

I drag it around
Pretending it's a leash
For a sea-monster puppy
I found on the beach.
     Inspired by Pam Munoz-Ryan's children's book Hello Ocean.

Hugh Burnell
1st grade, San Diego

Pandion haliaetus (Osprey)

Grant J. Park
1st grade, Encino

Going to the Beach

Waves up high,
Sand down low,
Shells in the middle,
Washing to and fro.

The hot sun
Is shining down,
On the beach,
On the ground.

The wind is blowing
Kites are floating
In the air.

The tide pools
Are big and round.
Sea creatures
Are always found.

Going to the beach
Is so much fun.
It makes me smile,
Til the day is done.

Dana Hathaway
1st grade, Los Gatos

We Love Ocean

Sanjani Thambala
Kindergarten, Cupertino


Sharks are big, their color is grey
They swim in the ocean all day
They like to hunt for their prey
They chomp everything in their way
So be aware and swim away and
then you will be okay.

Thaweb Kharroubi
1st grade, San Jose

Lounging by the Beach

Keertana Sreekumar
1st grade, Fremont

View the 2013 Winners




Elizabeth Lobko
2nd grade, Elverta

The Mist

The mist settles over the ocean
As the first ray of sunlight
Peeks out at the world.
The ocean smiles,
The little ray of sunlight
That lights up
The darkness of the night.

Elizabeth Brem
3rd grade, Yorba Linda

Mountains of the Mist

Riya Gupta
3rd Grade, Irvine

The Stone

When I picked up a stone
I realized I saw
Two clouds and
Two mountains and
The ocean.

Shea Hendricks
2nd grade, Albion

Blue Shark

Hana Choi
3rd grade, Los Angeles

Ocean Fantasy

The ocean is like a fantasy of water and sand, seashells and seals.

You get to sit back.
Build sand castles.

You get to see seals on rocks finding fish.
Hear them yapping.
See the waves hitting up on the rocks.
Feel the cool water pushing up on your feet.

Here everybody loves what you do,
And everybody wants to help you build your sand castle.

You want to stay.

So stay.

Sit under your umbrella.
Let in the nice, hot sun shining over your head.
Come in.
Be a part of the fantasy.

Nikki Sitter
3rd grade, Paradise

Mikol Warschaw
3rd Grade, Altadena


A Maze of Jellyfish

Catherine Cui
5th grade, Tustin

The Beautiful Ocean

Good morning ocean.
Your sand is so tan,
As if we wear the same flesh,
It has cloned my coffee colored skin.
I love to draw on your small gold beads
I can't imagine an ocean with no thread of sand.

I see you jump on the shore with joy.
You sound like a lion's roar as you crash on to the sand
And you gently glide backwards whispering
That you will not harm its soft texture.

Goodbye good friend,
I must leave,
I will see you next week,
If my room remains clean.

I wish I could stay to watch you sleep,
And to see the shiny gold and yellow sun
Shine through your bright blue skin,
And to observe the sky turning pink.

Now I must go,
I need my sleep.
I will come again to see your beautiful show,
But for now, I'll just watch from the corner of my street.

Yuritzy Vazquez
6th grade

Hermit Crab - A Day at the Beach

Vaibhavi Patankar
6th grade, Woodland Hills

If You Go To The Beach

You walk along the shore with the sun across your back
Pacific, ha! Serenity's the one thing this beach lacks.
It appears to be just seaweed but it's like a shark attack...
Help kelp! More surges in as each wave will draw back.

So you walk a little further as the tide is getting low,
A couple crabs, an oyster—you found a tide pool, whoa!
Anemones and urchins that you would never know
Could live in California where the world is far from slow.

So you continue walking, as the tide is getting high.
The sun (and everybody's kite) is falling form the sky.
You meet your family, exhausted, plop on the sand and sigh.
You watch some dolphins playing as the seagulls reach and fly.

It's been a long long day and you've seen so many things.
You've found some shells, rocks, and feathers from the sandpipers' wings.
You're muddy and exhausted but you've got the strength to sing
'Cause you live in California and the coast is sure your thing.

Kiara Necessary
6th grade, Valencia

Among the Flowers

Sarah Chung
6th grade, Irvine

Land's End

Look, there's a pelican high on a ridge
And off in the distance, the Golden Gate Bridge
A greeny-black cormorant swoops through the air
Is that a whale's spout I spotted out there?
Dozens of sea lions doze on the rocks,
Seabirds fly by, one by one, or in flocks.
A small purple crab scuttles past on the sand,
A ferry plows by, bound for Angel Island.
A couple of sparrows—they must want our picnic—
Land on a rock, twittering their quick chik!
Hungry bird after bird flies out of the blue.
I love to be on the beach, don't you?

Esmé Kaplan-Kinsey
5th grade, Petaluma


Sarah Arim Kong
4th grade, Los Angeles

The Red-Clawed Snapper

Heat pooling
      onto the hard crease
of his shell
      clicking and colliding his forearms,
His back legs ponder
      cascading up slopes.
Sliding through sand he goes.
The salt water tickles its way into his cave-like mouth
      and gurgles its way

Corinne Webster
5th grade, San Anselmo



Californians Cleaning the Coast

Leo Yang
9th grade, Arcadia

Dreaming of a Watery Future

You woke up underwater, and you weren't breathing
But you weren't really there.
Just a consciousness floating in a ghost town.
You know this place, you recognize these buildings
But you don't.
This is your home
But not anymore.
Seaweed grows on the sidewalks, swaying peacefully
A shark swims through your nonexistent body
An otter propels itself out of an abandoned house.
What happened?
The water rose, slowly, over the years it flooded the town
And now it crumbles, as if dying.
Dying, dead, forgotten.
You woke up in bed, with the remains of the dream flitting through your head.
A dream of a watery future.

Sage Meadows
7th grade, Fairfax

The Three Amigos

Vickie Yang
7th grade, Arcadia

Point Reyes Cliffs

Boulder cloaked curtains
Between kelp and trees

Diving birds' eggs safe
In nests tucked into the vertical ground

Only stood upon by those with wings
Obsidian sleek cormorants, fog-backed gulls

A great rock parallel to a fall
For the four and two-legged above

An impossible mountain
For the scaled and finned below

From every angle they are formidable
Freckled with spindrift
From the waves who crumble them down.

Megan Amaglio
9th grade, Larkspur

Green Sea Turtle

Justine Xi
9th grade, Hillsborough


Your affections are an ocean
Your arms, as open and vast as the sea
Your kiss, a salty splendor

Dearest I love you so,
But I forgot to mention an important bit:
I never quite learned to swim.

So now that salt fills my chest
My body is an anchor to the vessel of my heart,
It's sinking slowly to the sand

The waters twirl my hair
with gentle fingers
murmuring soft apologies

The last of my breath whispers out
forming a perfect sphere
floating towards the surface


Hannah Prior
8th grade, Oceanside

Mighty Observer

Joseph Dickinson
9th grade, San Mateo

Roaring Waves

Waves crash, foam bubbling at the surface
They're powerful and rich, they scream as they smash in to the sands
Then they coil back again, seemingly scathed by the touch
Rolling back into noise
Crashing once again
The night is silent, the sky is black
No stars shine, the clouds inch from the west
The moon is absent, hiding behind the nebulous forms
The waves crash again
Roaring into the night

Alexandra Petersen
9th grade, Fremont

GRADES 10-12

Get in Touch with the Ocean

Leslie Young
10th grade, Huntington Beach

A Curlew and his Catch

Wilson Xu
10th grade, Davis


Waves are crashing on the shore
They speak of stories left untold
Seashells resting on the floor
Many does the eye behold
Above the waves, the birds take flight
In search of food, they rest at night
The sky is dark and the sand is wet
Sleep has put the world to rest
Sweet melodies strung from the wind
Nurture creatures in their dreams
The stars shine bright, out of reach
Waves still crashing on the lonely beach

Ada Del Pozo
11th grade, Foster City

Swirling Turtle

Gi-Ling Lo
12th grade, Diamond Bar

Sunset on a Golden Coast

Benjamin Chang
10th grade, Chino Hills

Monterey Bay

I watched the roaring ocean leap
And looked over the waters deep
That bite the sand and claw the land
And gnaw the rocks and cliffs so steep.

The cold pacific waters, blue,
Came rushing in and then withdrew.
Waves, crashed and fell and broke and swelled
As mighty ocean breezes blew.
Into dark holes and clammy zones
The ocean runs, and loudly groans.
Waves crashed and fell and broke and swelled
In hollow caves beneath the stones.

Then, rushing out into the light
The thunderous blue sea took flight
Waves crashed and fell and broke and swelled
With music, radiant and bright.

Beneath the white and sparkling foam,
Marvelous creatures make their home
Beneath the waves, in hollow caves,
There thrives a world of its own.

As I over the water gazed,
I could not help but feel amazed
As winds and waves, o'er rock, through caves
Always their great Creator praised.

Jordan Kaiser
10th grade, San Marcos