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I live by the Sea International Youth Photo and Film Contest

The philosophy behind the I live by the Sea Contest is to create a platform which enables exchange of information for all people interested in the ocean. We strive to create an international society, whose members believe in the need to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with special emphasis on marine issues. We hope that our contest unites international youth who mutually learn about various aspects of marine environments, from social to natural issues. We think, that the opportunity to contact people from various parts of the world is a great value in itself. Therefore, taking part in the contest with a chance that his/her work will be presented in various world places, during important events dedicated to the oceans, we help to promote their own perception of the reality and their regions. We want the participants to share this vision with us. We want all of them to feel like we are helping to change the world for the better, even just a little bit, and thus the participation in this endeavor is an “award” in itself for all of us!

We all live by the sea. No matter how far from the sea you live, next to the beach or far away in the mountains, you still have a great impact on it. And it is up to you whether you create a positive relationship with the sea or have adverse impact on it.

We believe that educating people about the importance and the beauty of marine environments is the key to creating positive attitudes towards the sea.

The idea behind this project involves a worldwide contest for young person’s up to the age of 21. The contest will be held in four age categories:

  • 5 to 12,
  • 13 to 15,
  • 16 to 18,
  • 19 to 21.

We expect from participants to use any type of visual arts to present a story of “their sea”. Therefore, we will have three categories, Photo, Film and Storie.

Participants may submit photos or short films, along with a short text, which will describe the story. In the films we accept any form of artistic expression, from a documentary, to feature, or theatre play, through pantomime, dance or a song.

We will take into consideration not only the photo or a film but also a relevant description of a region, a special feature of the place, an explanation of the chosen subject, etc.

Just like in the previous edition, our goal is to spread and share knowledge about marine environments and marine protection issues, as well as the exchange of information among users of different seas and marine oriented regions.

Through their participation we hope to involve youth of different natural and cultural heritage to share their views on marine issues in a creative way. All works submitted will be reviewed by a panel of International Judges. Due to a variety of options for contestants the panel involves experts from a number of art and science areas.

Contest timeline:

Submission of works (1 photo or 1 film plus text) by 6̶ ̶M̶a̶y̶ ̶2̶0̶2̶4̶  extended to 15 May 2024

Planned announcement of the results : 8 June 2024

This year, the top photos together with information about top films and best stories will be presented in the Cretaquarium, Crete.

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Important information

This project is based on the previous experience of a “I live by the Sea” contest co-organized by Today We Have in 2017 ( The Contest is a continuation of a Polish project, which took place in 2015 and early 2016, and is a direct follow up on the 2017 International edition. Our goal is to spread and share knowledge about marine environments and marine protection issues, as well as the exchange of information among users of different seas and marine oriented regions.

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The contest is an official partner of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

Since 2017, we have organized 15 exhibitions in 8 countries.


Since 2017, 1506 young people from 28 countries have participated in the contest.

award winning

On 20 May, during the European Maritime Day in Ravenna 2022, the Director General of DG MARE of the European Commission has awarded the I live by the Sea contest with a: Main EU4Ocean coalition award Sky Blue; for significant achievement in bringing forward ocean literacy in Europe, its efforts and initiatives in translating the spirit and principles of the EU4Ocean coalition, while mobilizing diverse community.

I live at the Sea Photo and Film Contest and a Portuguese project “The use of public art to raise awareness about ocean plastic pollution” were equally rated and won first prizes in the “Show and Tell” exhibition vote during the CommOCEAN 2020 conference, which took place 1-2 December 2020.

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All submitted works are evaluated by an international jury. Due to a variety of options for contestants the panel involves experts representing various art and science areas.

Since 2017 the winning contributions include:

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Since 2017 our outreach estimates:

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Since 2017
contest is organized by Today We Have in cooperation with scientific, governmental institutions as well as a number of international NGOs from around the world. 


As of 2023 the list of our partners involves the following organizations: 

I live by the Sea International Youth Photo and Film Contest since 2017