Blue Institute is dedicated to education and research for resilient oceans & water

World Oceans Day 2019 Cape Cod

 In honor of World Oceans Day 2019 the Blue Institute at Cape Cod Bay organized a writing  contest for Poetry, Prose, and Plays , “Words on Water."  We recieved submissions from Cape Cod to California to Canada. So many students submitted (all Poetry) that we made a separate category for them!  Scroll Down please. We are delighted to reveal below the winners, have their work available to be read, and to introduce you to the four fantastic judges.  Stay tuned for future announcements (Call for Submissions will go out soon) on the readings and performances of the pieces in the near future!  

Thank you for your support - remember - every drop counts!


"Words on Water" 2019 Winners

Poetry (Student)


First Place: 

"Protecting Our Oceans"

by Lizzie Sprout

Monomoy Regional High School

Second Place: 


by Alexa Schneeberger

Cape Cod Community College



First Place:

"Ode to Lifeguarding"

by Rick Wilson

Second Place:


(from a 4-part poem entitled "Elements")

by Clyde Watson



First Place:

"Long Beach Walks"

by June Calender

Second Place:

"Where There's Seals"

by Gina Faldetta



First Place:

"From the Well"

by Candace Perry

Second Place:

"The Water Spirits' Colloquy

Lee Rosco

Judges for "Words on Water" 2019

POETRY Donna Tavano


Donna Tavano attended Northfield School for Girls and Bennington College. She is a long-time columnist for the Cape Cod Chronicle and is working on a number of childrens’ books. 

Donna and her husband, Frank, raised five sons and enjoy nine grandchildren. Recently retired from over 20 years with the Harwich Police Department, she now has time to indulge her passions of writing and art. Donna is also a multimedia artist who exhibits with the Guild of Harwich Artists and operates a summertime shop, Eclectsia, out of her family home on Cape Cod in Harwich Port, Massachusetts.

She singularly enjoys unearthing treasures of mind, spirit and object when meandering on a road less taken.

Donna often travels to the Bay Area 

and is pictured above with 

a recent painting: Acrylic 36x48 

“Good Morning 24th Street~San Francisco” 

- Donna Idman Tavano 

POETRY (Students) Madhavi Venkatesan, PhD


Madhavi Venkatesan is the executive director of Sustainable Practices and IRS designated 501(c) 3 nonprofit located in Brewster.

Madhavi earned a PhD, MA, and BA in Economics from Vanderbilt University, a Masters in Sustainability and Environmental Management from Harvard University, and a Masters In Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School. 

A recipient of a Fulbright Distinguished Lectureship (Philippines), she has contributed to numerous books and journal articles on the subject of sustainability and economics. Her present academic interests include the integration of sustainability into the economics curriculum. Madhavi is presently a faculty member in the Economics Department at a Northeastern University in Boston.

To learn more about Madhavi and Sustainable Practices, visit

PROSE Gil Newton


  Gilbert Newton is a Cape Cod native who has been teaching environmental and marine science at Sandwich High School and the Cape Cod Community College for many years. His classes included coastal ecology, botany, coastal zone management, and environmental technology. In 2013 he became the first Director of the Sandwich STEM Academy. 

Mr. Newton completed his graduate work in biology at Florida State University. He has also taught classes for the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, the Falmouth Academy, Bridgewater State University and the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Gil was also the Program Director for the Advanced Studies and Leadership Program at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy for 14 years. 

Gil is one of the founders of the Barnstable Land Trust and is the past president of the Association to Preserve Cape Cod. He is the author of several books about the Cape's shoreline including the recent :

Marine Habitats of Cape Cod and Mysteries of Seaweed: Questions and Answers.

PLAYWRITING Tyrone Benskin


  Tyrone Benskin has been a significant presence in theatre, film, television and music for over 30 years. As part of the Canadian and International cultural landscape Tyrone has over 100 film, TV and Stage credits. His voice is also recognizable in commercials, animation and video games. Mr. Benskin rounds out his creative skills as a musician, singer and published songwriter/ composer, writer and director.

For five years Mr. Benskin served as Artistic Director of Black Theatre Workshop, Canada's oldest Black theatre company. He has also served as President of the Board of Creations Etc, a youth arts and outreach organization, and on the boards of numerous other non-profits. Mr. Benskin was twice elected to the post of National Vice President of ACTRA, Canada's national film and television actors union.

On May 2nd, 2011 Mr. Benskin was elected to the 41st Parliament of Canada as the Member for the diverse riding of Jeanne-Le Ber. Mr. Benskin was subsequently appointed to the post of "Official Opposition Critic for Canadian Heritage" by the Honourable Jack Layton. Mr. Benskin also served as Deputy Critic for Official Languages and served on the Sub-Committee for International Human Rights. 

Mr. Benskin served as a Member of Parliament in Canada's House of Commons for four and a half years, returning to the big screen in 2016 in Bad Santa 2 and the small screen as recurring character Rev. Wardell Cobb in season 2 of The Art of More opposite Denis Quaid.

Our favorite water quotes ~ please send us your's


John F. Kerry - American Statesman and US Navy Veteran

"If we don't preserve the oceans from nitrate runoff and plastic and chemicals, and if we don't preserve it from acidification, and if we don't preserve it from grotesque overfishing - too much money chasing too few fish - we're going to have the most massive ecosystem on the planet in peril."

Benjamin Franklin - American Author, Innovator, Statesman

"When the well runs dry, we will know the value of water."

Audrey Hepburn - Actor, UN Spokesperson

"Water is life and clean water means health."

Wangari Maathai - Kenyan Environmentalist and 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

"When resources are degraded, we start competing for them, whether it is at the local level in Kenya, where we had tribal clashes over land and water, or at the global level, where we are fighting over water, oil, and minerals. So one way to promote peace is to promote sustainable management and equitable distribution of resources."


"Boat Meadow"

Painting by Jose Montanez, 2015, 

Loren Eiseley - American Anthropologist, Educator, Philosopher, and Natural Science Writer

"If there is magic on this planet it is contained in water"


send us your favorite quote on water