Sammy the Sea Otter honors coloring book contest winner in the Virgin Islands

Thursday, June 5, 2014

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BM3 Andrew R. Sedlack, Coastguardsman Boat Forces Saint Croix, and Sammy the Sea Otter, conduct radio operations aboard the 29 foot Coast Guard response boat at the All Hazards Preparedness Expo in Christiansted. The Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary partnered with the Virgin Islands Territory Emergency Management promoting disaster preparedness and recreational boating safety. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Coast Guard Auxiliarist Robert A. Fabich)

SAINT CROIX, U.S. Virgin Islands − Sammy the Sea Otter, the U.S. Coast Guard Sea Partners mascot, made a surprise appearance honoring local student Joyce Contreras, the 2011 National Safe Boating Week coloring book cover artist, during the All Hazards Preparedness Expo in Christiansted on May 31, 2014

 

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Sammy the Sea Otter, the U.S. Coast Guard Sea Partners mascot, made a surprise appearance honoring local student Joyce Contreras, the 2011 National Safe Boating Week coloring book cover artist, during the All Hazards Preparedness Expo in Christiansted. (left to right) MK1 Matt R. Carlson, Coastguardsman Boat Forces in St. Croix, Joyce A. Contreras, student and cover artist, Emily M. Contreras and Mr. Amauri H. Contreras. (kneeling) Lieutenant Joshua Love, Supervisor, Coast Guard Resident Inspection Office in St. Croix, with his wife and daughter. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Coast Guard Auxiliarist Robert A. Fabich)

Joyce Contreras, a 5th grade student in 2011 at the Pearl B. Larson Elementary School was selected as the cover artist of the coloring book from 695 entries. The contest was open to students in kindergarten through sixth grade throughout the Seventh Coast Guard District, which includes the states of South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The creator of the coloring book contest was Bruce R. Wright, Office of Recreational Boating Safety. He designed the contest to provide teachers across the Seventh District with an opportunity to engage students with lessons regarding endangered species, environmental concerns, water safety and safe boating.  Students were encouraged to research the habitat and behavior of the sea otter, just one of several endangered species. The published book consists of artwork and messages of the children from the Seventh Coast Guard District with enhanced puzzles added.

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Duane R. Minton, (right) Flotilla commander, Christiansted, oversees Joyce A. Contreras sign her first copy of the Sammy the Sea Otter coloring book during the All Hazards Preparedness Expo in Christiansted. Miss Contreras, a 5th grade student in 2011 at the Pearl B. Larson Elementary School was selected as the cover artist from 695 entries open to students in kindergarten through sixth grade throughout the Seventh Coast Guard District. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Coast Guard Auxiliarist Robert A. Fabich)

“We are enthused to have one of our local students to be the cover artist of a national publication  which promotes keeping our waters clean,” said Lee Elvins, Auxiliary Flotilla 16-01 operations officer. “Today, Joyce is celebrating by signing the first copy of this coloring book with Sammy the Sea Otter.”

For the All Hazards Preparedness Expo, Coast Guardsmen from the Resident Inspection Office and Boat Forces in St. Croix, and Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 16-01 partnered with the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) to promote disaster planning and recreational boating safety as part of the island’s National Safe Boating Week activities.

Lieutenant Joshua Love, Supervisor at the Coast Guard Resident Inspection Office in Saint Croix, explained to the attendees that disaster preparedness, boating safety and education are all elements crucial to keeping our residents and visitors safe on and around the Caribbean waters. Lt. Love assumed duties as Supervisor May 30th relieving Lt. Roger Bogert who served from 2012.

“Our goal was to relay safe boating and sound environmental practices,” said Duane R. Minton, Flotilla Commander.  During  National Safe Boating Week the local Auxiliary unit participated in the “Get Ready, Get Set, Inflate It” world record life jacket event, provided the Paddleboats America Safety Course to 78 residents, conducted vessel safety checks at marinas, and distributed recreational boating safety information at Jump Up, marinas, the Expo and schools.

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