Welcome to the Marine Debris Art Challenge! To Participate, JOIN the “Marine Debris Art Challenge” Group.


The Marine Debris Art Challenge is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans, International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (the “Challenge Sponsor, ”also known as OES). The goal of the art challenge is to increase awareness of marine debris, and highlight that international cooperation is needed to address many of the sources of marine debris.


Challenge Submissions will be displayed on OES Flickr page,, and the challenge will be promoted on Twitter and Facebook. The challenge will feature photos of artwork created from marine debris collected by an individual or groups during beach cleanup efforts. Collectively, Flickr, Twitter and Facebook are hereafter referred to as “the Platforms.”


Take an original still photograph of your original marine debris artwork and submit to or the Marine Debris Art Challenge Pool, along with the following information (i) name or preferred alias, (ii) country of citizenship, (iii) country of residence, (iv) e-mail address, (v) confirmation that you are at least 18 years of age, or at least 13 years of age and can provide verification of parental consent. Photos can be submitted from September 21 until 11:59 p.m. EST on December 31, 2013.

Once a photograph is submitted, it is considered a final submission and may not be modified, edited, or replaced. Individual participants may submit no more than one photo.

Participation in this challenge is automatically deemed as acceptance of these Official Rules. A submission must be an original photograph digital or analog, taken by the participant. .


a. Submissions must not contain obscenity, explicit sexual material, nudity, profanity, graphic violence, calls or incitement to violence, commercial solicitation or commercial promotion. Submissions must conform to local laws and must not contain content or images that could be considered abusive, inflammatory, denigrating, or disrespectful to the Challenge Sponsor, or to any groups, individuals or institutions. Submissions must adhere both in appearance and in fact to the norms of civil discourse. In other words, the content of all Submissions must be suitable for a global, public audience.

b. Submissions must be original content created by the Participant and must not contain any elements that are protected by someone else’s copyright or otherwise subject to third party intellectual property or proprietary rights, including privacy and publicity rights (except as expressly permitted below in (d)). Challenge Sponsor recognizes no allowance for “fair use” of copyrighted material, nor do the Challenge Sponsor recognizes allowance for use of licensed materials created or owned by a third party.

c. The Challenge Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify, at its sole and absolute discretion, any submission that does not adhere to these criteria and to the intent and substance of these Official Rules.

d. By submitting a photograph to the challenge, the Participant affirms that he or she has obtained written consent from all individuals whose image or likeness appears in the photograph (or from the individuals’ parent/legal guardian if any such individuals are considered a minor in their country of residence), and that he or she has obtained the necessary rights, licenses, consents, and permissions to use all material such as music, images, text and other content in the submission. The Participant further affirms that he or she is prepared to provide reliable documentation of any and all such consents, licenses, etc., upon request. Failure to obtain such rights, license consents, and permissions may result in the disqualification of the Photo Submission at the Challenge Sponsor's sole and absolute discretion.

e. Technical Format Requirements
Photo Submissions must be in JPEG or JPG format, 5 megabytes or smaller, but photo size must be no smaller than 1024x768 pixels. Submissions should not have any visible watermarks, signatures, or personally identifiable information.

i. Retouching of Photos: The submitted photograph cannot be significantly retouched: nothing in the photograph (people, animals, scenery, objects, etc.) may be altered, removed, augmented or rearranged. Cropping is permitted, as is modest darkening or lightening of parts of the image.

ii. In the event of any question or difference of view regarding compliance with, interpretation, or application of these Content requirements or other provisions of these Official Rules, the Challenge Sponsor reserves the exclusive right to resolve such questions or differences of view in its sole discretion.


a. Participants must be at least 13 years old on the date of entry into the challenge. Parental consent is required for individuals under the age of 18.

b. The following individuals are not eligible to participate in the challenge: Employees, directors, interns, and officers of the Challenge Sponsor, the Platforms, the U.S Government, or contractors of the U.S. Government, other than those located outside of the greater Washington, DC area; or distribution agencies, web design agencies, advertising agencies, fulfillment agencies, as well as judging and agencies involved in the administration, development, fulfillment, and execution of this Challenge, and the immediate family members (defined as spouse, recognized partner, parent, child, sibling, and spouse or "step" of each) and those living in the same households of each such individual.

c. Once a photo submission has been accepted for entry into the challenge, the participants’ name or alias and country may be publicly identified at the sole discretion of the Participant.


a. All photos are subject to pre-screening by the Challenge Sponsor to ensure compliance with these Official Rules and the Terms of Service of the Platforms. The Challenge Sponsor reserves the right in its sole and absolute discretion to verify in the final analysis whether a potential participant has fully complied with these Official Rules before posting to the challenge site.

b. Outstanding examples of marine debris art projects will be highlighted in social media and may potentially be shown at the U.S. Department of State’s International Oceans Conference in 2014. The outstanding examples will be selected by staff representing the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans, International Environmental and Scientific Affairs’ Office of Ocean and Polar Affairs, Office of Marine Conservation, and Office of Policy and Public Outreach. Examples will be assessed using the following criteria: creativity and originality, item fits into the category entered, and appropriate use of materials.

c. The participants whose Submissions are highlighted will be required to sign and return to the Challenge Sponsor an affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release, provide a short bio (where applicable), and a brief about the submission. The inability of the Challenge Sponsor to contact a participant may result in disqualification and/or selection of an alternate from among all remaining Submissions.


a. The Challenge Sponsor does not necessarily endorse any submitted photo or messages expressed therein, and the Challenge Sponsor expressly disclaims any and all liability in connection with the submitted photos including disputes between collaborators related to a Submission.

b. The Challenge and its sponsor do not permit copyright infringing activities or infringement of any other intellectual property rights, and the Challenge Sponsor reserves the right to remove and disqualify any submission it deems to be in violation of another party's copyright or other intellectual property rights.

c. Participants retain sole ownership of their original work. The Submission remains the intellectual property of the participant, and the Challenge sponsor and U.S. Government make no claim of copyright as to the work of any individual who enters the challenge. Participant specifically agrees to give the Challenge Sponsor permission to use all content submitted for purposes of assessing the challenge. Participants will be required to grant Challenge Sponsor, with proper attribution through whatever means they deem appropriate, a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sub-licensable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, and/or display the photograph. Submission, in any media formats and through any media channels in perpetuity in connection with the activities and operations of the Challenge.

d. Participant assumes sole responsibility for the challenge submission and the material contained in it, and also for the consequences of submitting or posting it.

e. Challenge Sponsor reserves the right at any time, to verify the validity of entries and of Participants and to disqualify any Participant or entry deemed not in compliance or any entry deemed not in accordance with these Official Rules. The Challenge Sponsor also reserves the right to request further documentation, at its sole and absolute discretion, to verify eligibility and compliance with these Official Rules.

f. If this Challenge is interfered or tampered with in any way by a Participant, or a person acting on the Participant’s behalf, or, if, as a consequence of such interference, the Challenge is not capable of being reasonably conducted in the manner anticipated by the Challenge Sponsor, the Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion and to the fullest extent permitted by law to disqualify any interfering Participant and/or modify, suspend, terminate or cancel the Challenge.

g. In addition, the Challenge Sponsor reserves the right, at any time and in its sole discretion, to disqualify and/or deem ineligible any individual who it reasonably believes (i) has violated the Official Rules; (ii) is acting in a bad faith, or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person.

h. Challenge Sponsor reserves the right to modify, suspend, terminate or cancel the Challenge at its discretion for any reason.

i. Participant agrees to defend, indemnify and hold harmless the Challenge Sponsor and Platforms, their parent, subsidiary and affiliated companies, officers, directors, employees, interns, and agents, from and against any and all claims, damages, obligations, losses, liabilities, costs or debt, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees) arising from (i) violation of these Official Rules (ii) violation of any third party right, including without limitation any copyright, trademark, intellectual property, privacy, publicity, or other proprietary right in connection with the Participant; or (iii) any claim that a Challenge Submission(s) caused harm to a third party. This defense and indemnification obligation will survive indefinitely beyond the conclusion of the Challenge and your use of the Challenge and Platform sites.

j. The conduct and the selection of outstanding photographs will be carried out in full compliance with applicable U.S. law and host country law.

k. Challenge Sponsor and the U.S. Government will take reasonable measures to protect privacy data, personally identifiable information, and other sensitive data, but cannot be liable for its full protection. Contact information provided by participants may be stored by the Challenge Sponsor and may be used to contact participants for other purposes in the future, but this information will not be shared.

l. The Challenge Sponsor is not liable for any disputes between collaborators related to a Challenge Submission.

m. At their sole discretion, the Challenge Sponsor may contact participants to propose collaboration on additional projects.

n. The Challenge Sponsor is not liable in the event that any portion of the Challenge is cancelled due to weather, fire, strike, acts of war or terrorism, or any other reason.


a. The Challenge Sponsor assumes no liability or responsibility for any loss or harm resulting from any user’s participation in or attempt to participate in the Challenge or ability or inability to upload, download, or otherwise access any information in connection with participating in the Challenge. Challenge Sponsor assumes no responsibility or liability for technical problems, or technical malfunction arising in connection with any of the following occurrences which may affect the operation of the Challenge: hardware or software errors; faulty computer, telephone, cable, satellite, network, electronic, wireless or Internet connectivity, or other online communication problems; errors or limitations of any Internet service providers, servers, hosts or providers; garbled, jumbled or faulty data transmissions; failure of any email transmissions to be sent or received; lost, late, delayed or intercepted email transmissions; inaccessibility of the Challenge site in whole or in part for any reason; traffic congestion on the Internet or the Challenge site; unauthorized human or non-human intervention of the operation of the Challenge, including without limitation, unauthorized tampering, hacking, theft, virus, bugs, worms; or destruction of any aspect of the Challenge, or loss, miscount, misdirection, inaccessibility or unavailability of an email account used in connection with the Challenge.

b. The Challenge Sponsor is not responsible for any typographical errors in the announcement of the selection of the outstanding photographs or these Official Rules, or any inaccurate or incorrect data contained on the Challenge site. Use of Challenge site is at user’s own risk. The Challenge Sponsor is not responsible for any personal injury, property damage, or losses of any kind which may be sustained to the user’s or another person’s computer equipment resulting from participation in the Challenge, use of the Challenge site or the downloading of information from the Challenge site. By participating in the Challenge, the participant releases the Challenge Sponsor from any and all claims, damages or liabilities arising from or relating to participation in the Challenge.

Privacy Act Statement
a. AUTHORITIES: The information is sought pursuant to 22 U.S.C. 2655a, as implemented through 1 FAM 542.3(3).
b. PURPOSE: The information solicited on this website will be used to evaluate and process Submissions to the [name of contest or challenge] and determine the eligibility of entrants.
c. ROUTINE USES: The information submitted to this website is collected on behalf of the U.S. Department of State, and is subject to the Privacy Act of 1974. The winner’s information may also be made available to the public. More information on the Routine Uses for the system can be found in the System of Records Notice STATE-79, Digital Outreach and Communications.
d. DISCLOSURE: Providing this information is voluntary. Failure to provide the information requested on this website may result in ineligibility for the Marine Debris Art Challenge.
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