The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) invites young artists and future biologists to enter the 2018 California Invasive Species Youth Art Contest. This year’s theme is “Pledge to Not Spread!”
Youths in grades two through 12 are eligible to enter the annual contest and all types of media are welcome and encouraged – drawings, paintings, animations, comic strips, videos, public service announcements, etc.
Entries should depict what Californians could do to stop the spread of invasive species, along with appropriate messaging. Those could include a public service announcement or poster explaining the risk of a particular species or instructions for cleaning hiking boots, boat or fishing gear.
Winners will be chosen in three divisions: grades 2-4, 5-8 and 9-12. Winners from each division will receive awards and have their artwork displayed on CDFW’s Invasive Species Action Week webpage. The submission judged best overall will receive the “Invasive Species Program Choice” Award.
The deadline for submissions is May 4, and they may be sent by either email or regular mail. The entry form and the contest announcement flyer can be viewed at www.wildlife.ca.gov/cisaw.
The art contest is sponsored by CDFW’s Invasive Species Program as part of the fifth annual California Invasive Species Action Week (CISAW) June 2-10. The goal of CISAW is to increase public awareness of invasive species issues and encourage public participation in the fight against California’s invasive species and their impacts on natural resources.
With the art contest theme, CDFW plans to spread awareness about the potential for invasive species introductions through everyday activities such as hiking, fishing and traveling, as well as through the dumping of unwanted plants or animals. For example, New Zealand mudsnails spread on fishing boots and gear have impacted native fish and invertebrate populations in many streams in California and the western United States. The release of non-native crayfish used as fishing bait has likely resulted in the decline of California’s native crayfish and impacted other species dependent on the habitat. Simple actions, such as cleaning, draining and drying your gear, are effective ways to combat the spread of invasive species.
CISAW activities across the state will include invasive species presentations and exhibits, invasive plant removal efforts, habitat restoration projects and the announcement of the youth art contest winners. Opportunities for youths and adults to participate or volunteer will be available through participating agencies, organizations and volunteer groups, with information and details to be provided on the CISAW webpage.
More information about CDFW’s Invasive Species Program, including examples of invasive species currently affecting California’s wildlands, is available at www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/invasives.