Celebrate the Bluebelt and win a prize

The spectacular 13th Annual Laguna Bluebelt Photo Contest continues to accept entries until June 22. Photo Contest winners in professional and amateur categories will receive cash prizes and be exhibited at the Laguna Beach College of Art + Design Gallery following an Artist Reception on Thursday, Aug. 1 at 6 p.m.

The widely popular photo contest celebrates the many ways residents and visitors experience and enjoy Laguna Beach’s Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) – the only citywide MPA in California dedicated to sea life recovery. The contest invites entries to include photos from the beach to the deep ocean.

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Courtesy of Laguna Bluebelt Foundation

“Misty Morning Hop” by Brian Sciacca

This year’s photo contest coincides with KelpFest 2024 on Worlds Ocean Day, June 8 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Main Beach. Kelp forests can capture 20 times more carbon than tree forests and are a hidden, underwater natural way to address climate change, coastal erosion and sea level rise threatening coastal communities like Laguna Beach.

Contest judges include past winners Julianne Steers, a marine scientist and Rich German, Project O. Kate Vylet, a conservation photographer and videographer based in Monterey Bay, Calif. will join the judges this year to select the winners.

Vylet specializes in underwater photography and documenting the kelp forest ecosystem. Trained as a marine scientist, she has been monitoring kelp forest and climate change research for the past decade. Capturing images of kelp forests recovering from a century of neglect and over-fishing impacts helps to validate the success of California’s dramatic network of marine life protection over the past 10 years. As a photographer and scientist, Vylet recognizes the power of images to communicate research and inspire conservation of the underwater world.

For more information, visit https://contest.lagunabluebelt.org and visit their Instagram page here.

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