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    Sections of the boardwalk at the Red Maple Swamp Trail have been closed due to structural deterioration and safety concerns. Check at Salt Pond Visitor Center for the current status of this trail, and for your safety, remain out of closed areas.

Student Marine Art Celebrating Stellwagen Bank Sanctuary Species Exhibit at Cape Cod National Seashore for March

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Date: March 20, 2012
Contact: Sue Haley, 508-255-3421 ext. 15

A display of winners from the 2011 Marine Art Contest sponsored by Massachusetts Marine Educators is now on display at Cape Cod National Seashore's Salt Pond Visitor Center.The artwork, created by students from schools across Massachusetts, as well as two European nations, captures some of the diversity of species found in nearby Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. The show, which runs through March before moving to the Salem National Historic Site visitor center in April, includes winners and honorable mentions from all five contest categories - high school, middle school, elementary school, scientific illustration (all grades) and computer graphics (all grades).

The annual Marine Art contest is a program of the Massachusetts Marine Educators (MME), a nonprofit grass-roots organization of teachers, informal educators, students, educational institutions and others dedicated to the goals of developing a marine literate society and promoting awareness of the ocean world by integrating marine studies into existing curricula.The contest theme is "Amazing Ocean Creatures of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary."

"The contest is an exciting way of encouraging interdisciplinary education by integrating marine science with art," said Anne Smrcina, contest director."Through this creative effort, students learn more about some of the local marine life found in their own ocean backyard."

Co-sponsors for the annual art contest include Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (SBNMS), New England Aquarium, Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies, Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society and Stellwagen Alive: Friends of the National Marine Sanctuary.The traveling art exhibit is sponsored by the sanctuary and MME.

"I'm amazed at the talent displayed by our local youth, especially some of the very young contributors," said Suzanne Haley, South District Interpreter for the National Seashore."We are pleased to be able to offer this exhibit to the public and showcase this award-winning art with connections to our local environment."

Cape Cod winners include Scientific Illustration 1st Place:Kiana Suchecki, Nauset Regional High School and honorable mentions from Provincetown High School, Bourne High School, Horace Mann Charter School in Barnstable, Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School in Orleans, Chatham Middle School, Provincetown Elementary School, and Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary afterschool program. The 2012 Marine Art contest is now underway with a deadline of April 26.The 2012 winning artwork will begin touring in the summer. Rules for the 2012 Marine Art contest can be found at the MME website at www.massmarineeducators.org or the Stellwagen Bank sanctuary website at http://stellwagen.noaa.gov.Winning artwork from the past few years can also be viewed at the sanctuary website.

For more information on the art contest, contact Anne Smrcina, Education Coordinator at SBNMS, 781-545-8026 x204.

If You Go:Salt Pond Visitor Center is located at the intersection of Route 6 and Nauset Road in Eastham and is open daily from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM.The center includes a lobby with expansive views of Salt Pond, Nauset Marsh, and the Atlantic; a museum featuring the park's natural and cultural stories; staff to assist with trip planning; and a store with books, maps, puzzles, games, and t-shirts. There are short films shown throughout the day. The Buttonbush and Nauset Marsh Trails, and the Nauset Bike Trail are located nearby. For more information on Cape Cod National Seashore programs call 508-255-3421, or check the park's website, www.nps.gov/caco.

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Did You Know?

tropical fish found in Cape Cod waters

Tropical fish may occur in the waters of Cape Cod National Seashore. Tropical fish can be found in coastal areas all the way to the Canadian Maritime. Eggs and larvae of tropical fish are caught in the Gulf Stream and transported north. These fish eventually perish as the water cools.