California Coastal Commission

Right Column

2008 Coastal Art & Poetry Contest Winners


Grades K-3

Swimming Otter, by Regina Kong for the 2008 Coastal Art & Poetry Contest
Swimming Otter
Regina Kong
2nd Grade


At the Beach

I go to the beach
with Willy.
When we go to the beach
he acts silly.
Sometimes I see glass
bottles, Coke cans and
potato chip bags.
I pick them up but Willy’s
tail just wags.

Andrew Kent
Grade 2


Grades 4-6

Seals in the Sea, by Alison Katz for the 2008 Coastal Art & Poetry Contest
Seals in the Sea
Allison Katz
Grade 6


Ocean's Children

I watch as
great old cypress tree
bends and falls
into the
Turtle surfaces
to see what
has disturbed
his evening swim
And Fish
jumps up
to investigate
as well.
Sun goes down
and Moon rises
turning the water
to a silvery land.
I lie down
and sleep here
where Moon covers me
in a moonlight blanket
until Sun come up
and wraps me
in a warm embrace.

Mackenzie L. Miller
Grade 5

Grades 7-9

In the Curl, by Jordan Gilman for the 2008 Coastal Art & Poetry Contest
In the Curl
Jordan Gilman
Grade 8


The Sea Creatures

The older fish under the sea
Tell tales of the past
Of how beautiful the ocean used to be,
The safe home that couldn't last

From plastic bottles to car tires
Plus all the waste we cannot see
We imagine that it all disappears
That the hazards aren't a reality

The animals are suffering
For the humans' bad mistakes
We consider their lives irrelevant
While all we do is take and take

And yet we wonder why they're dying
Why it's all of a sudden so hard
For these sea creatures to rise above
The 'little' things we discard

Do they know that we're the ones to blame?
If they do they can't imagine why
We'd be destroying our own human race
And causing other living things to die

But what can they do to stop us
They're no match for our big machines
They can only hope that someday
The damage will be seen

How many years will it be
'Til we've realized what we've done
And finally come to the conclusion
That what we do affects everyone

Sarah Cronin
Grade 8


Grades 10-12


Ocean Dance, by Yvonne Lin for the 2008 Coastal Art & Poetry Contest
Ocean Dance
Yvonne Lin
Grade 10



When I go inside the ocean, even just
My toe

I can learn to understand the way it heaves
Because there is water inside me –

Liquid sloshing my organs
Clear, warm, water

Between the coils of my tide-turning brain
And it has lived longer than me —

It has relations to the ocean

My body

Has relations

To the storms, to the drinking roots of grasses,
and filmy-slick puddles

The water in me, torn from its tribe, misses
The water

In the ocean, in people,
In swollen, delicate vegetables

Until there is nothing more sacred
Than the reunion
Which, for a short while,
a little lifetime of toe-tag,
I get to be a part of

Natasha Weidner
Grade 11