The Competition

The #SeaToSource video and poster competition is a chance to share your passion for marine life and a pollution free world. Follow the simple instructions below and show the world how people can create positive change for our incredible marine life.


Get Started

Students will select one of the iconic marine species living in and around the Australian Great Southern Reef. Using this species as their inspiration, paired with data collected by CVA teams about the most common litter items found in our waterways, students will investigate the impact of ocean litter on their chosen species, and marine species more broadly.

The challenge? To design a poster or video, showing how you could repurpose or reinvent a common ocean litter item, or inspire others to change their usage or disposal of these items, to create positive change for our incredible marine life.

Submissions which champion your selected marine species are greatly encouraged.

Potential examples of submissions:

  • Create an anti-litter or anti-plastic poster to be placed around the school. The poster will ideally incorporate the chosen marine species. For example: “Lend a hand to the Red Handfish; Swap single use water bottles for reusable ones”.
  • Create a video from the point of view of a marine animal. If you were a marine animal, what message would you want to share with humans? Imagine an ocean without litter – how would it feel?
  • Create a poster or video explaining how a common item could be repurposed or reinvented. For some inspiration, check out this nature inspired bottle top art by a NSW local, an initiative from Lids4Kids which turns plastic lids into skateboards, or how Replas turns soft plastics like chip packets and chocolate wrappers into useful items such as benches and fencing.
  • If your school has already made eco-friendly changes, such as Nude Food days, document these changes and explain the positive impact that these changes can have on our waterways and marine life


The Background

By 2050, there’s set to be more plastic in the oceans than fish. In fact, right now, one garbage truck of rubbish enters the ocean every minute. We believe we can do something about this, so we’ve been taking action on ocean litter. Teams of local people led by CVA have been removing litter from our beaches and waterways and collecting information about the types of litter found in the process. Using this information, we aim to work with local communities — including schools and young people — to identify the source of the litter and stop it before it becomes a problem.

Check out our findings from our first year of data in this infographic:

You can download our regional data snapshots from our first year of #SeaToSource here:

  • Georges River, NSW – PDF
  • Parramatta River, NSW – PDF
  • Brisbane, QLD – PDF
  • Derwent River, TAS – PDF
  • Tamar River, TAS – PDF
  • Swan River, WA – PDF
  • Werribee River, VIC – PDF
  • Mackay, QLD – PDF
  • River Torrens / Karrawirra Parri, SA – PDF


Why care?

Our oceans are home to a myriad of weird, wonderful and exciting marine life! Learn more about some of the species that call the Great Southern Reef their home. These species can be affected by ocean litter in different ways, but you can be part of the solution. By repurposing or reimagining the way we use or dispose of items, and inspiring others to change their behaviour, we can all play our part to protect these amazing creatures that call the ocean home.

Some of our favourite creatures include:


Need a place to get started to learn about the impacts of ocean litter on marine species?

Younger students:

  • Simplified and accessible information about litter and its impact on marine life – learn more
  • Impacts of ocean litter on marine environments with potential solutions – learn more
  • A series of short lessons and resources about the ocean, its inhabitants, and the impact of litter on marine life – learn more

Older students:

  • Summary of impacts of ocean litter on marine species – learn more
  • Impact of plastic on fish species – learn more
  • Impacts of ocean litter on marine environments and solutions to minimise waste – learn more
  • About The Great Southern Reef – learn more


Enter The Competition

Entry is across three age groups;

  • 8 years and under
  • 9 – 12 years old
  • 13 – 18 years old

First prizes will be given in each of these categories, which include:

  • 8 years and under – 3 pack activity kit (valued at $150) to educate and inspire your junior #SeaToSource champion from Green Kids Craft
  • 9 – 12 years old – $200 gift card to spend at Biome, to help you purchase items like reusable lunchboxes, food wraps and cutlery on your journey to cleaner waterways
  • 13 – 18 years old – $200 gift card to spend via RedBalloon, to help you explore and experience your local natural spaces and waterways

There will also be a special #SeaToSource merch pack (cap, t-shirt, tote bag and certificate) for the winner of each category, and Australian Geographic Magazine is also providing a reward for all entries that meet a high standard.

The competition opens on September the 17th and closes on December 3rd, 2021 at 5pm EST. Winning entries will be announced on the 10th of December 2021.

No personal information will be shared without your and/or your parent/caregiver consent. Student contact details will be deleted from our system after prizes are awarded and communicated. Permission will be sought prior to presenting entries on any digital or non digital platforms.

Interested in notifications in the run up to the competition? Scroll to the bottom of the page and submit your details in the form.

Ready to submit your entry now?



Questions? Contact Ella on [email protected] 


About The #SeaToSource Schools Program

No matter where you live, students can take part in #SeaToSource. Young people can speak out and act on behalf of freshwater and ocean animals that so desperately need our help. Litter that endangers animals in our freshwater and oceans can start it’s journey from anywhere, but from school and our community we can stop it at the source.

Because stewardship for the environment is crucial for our nations future, #SeaToSource encourages student-led initiatives that promote leadership capabilities through the lens of understanding and promoting waste minimisation. Where possible, student-led initiatives that engage a schools community in beach, river and creek clean ups across Australia can be supported and rewarded.

By participating in real-life environmental learning, planning and action, #SeaToSource provides a gateway for student empowerment to help them unlock their potential to influence others and make a real difference for nature.

Focusing on the impact of litter can also unlock a bigger world of inquiry and action into the choices that we make relating to plastic products that can do harm to our environment, and exploration of sustainable alternatives.


How Can Students Engage in #SeaToSource?

#SeaToSource can support student action in a number of ways, and depending on where we have staff on the ground, that engagement could be facilitated by a school visit, a virtual session, or access to information and inspirational stories of student empowerment and change. No matter where you are, there is a way to be involved.



Where Does #SeaToSource Operate?

We launched with nine #SeaToSource hubs around Australia which correspond to the waterways which carry the majority of litter into our surrounding bays and oceans.

Proudly supported by our partners

Australian Government

Get a reminder before the competition closes