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Calusa Blueway photo contest launched

By Staff | May 25, 2011

Lee County Parks & Recreation has launched its fourth annual Calusa Blueway Photo Contest for boaters, kayakers and nature enthusiasts. Entries can be submitted from now until October, with prizes awarded at the annual Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival presented by Canoe & Kayak magazine in November.

A fourth category has been added this year, allowing photographers to be even more creative. It’s called “Reflections” and is open to the photographer’s interpretation. Other categories include: paddlers on the trail (people enjoying the waterways), nature photography (flora, fauna and landscapes) and signs on the blueway (Calusa Blueway markers and others that water-lovers encounter).

Prizes for top category winners will come from ABC Framing, a Lehigh Acres-based mobile-framing business that is the contest’s sponsor. Winners will receive an enlarged, matted and framed version of their photos. Winning entries also will be published in magazines, newspapers and online products.

Selected entries may be featured on several websites, including the blueway site, www.calusablueway.com, the festival site — www.calusabluewaypaddlingfestival.com — and on the festival’s Facebook site.

Winners and runners-up will be recognized during the Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival, which has new dates this year, Nov. 3-6, and will be based on the Sanibel Causeway with activities throughout Lee County.

There is no entry fee. Submissions must be taken along a Lee County, Fla., waterway and include a photographer’s name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and title and location. Three entries are permitted per photographer; amateur photographers only, please. A model release form is available and necessary if a person in a submitted photo is identifiable. E-mail entries to bclayton@leegov.com by Oct. 1.

Winners will be selected by a panel of judges, including Cape Coral painter and kayaker Jeannette Chupack and also Fort Myers native Mark Renz, a photo artist and author whose website is www.FloridaTimeForgot.com. Rounding out the judges’ panel will be award-winning newspaper photographer Andrew West of The News-Press in Fort Myers.

The Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail is 190 miles long and is marked by easily identifiable trail signs. The trail also is mapped out with Global Positioning System coordinates. Order free maps online at www.calusablueway.com. The Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival has been selected as one of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events for 2011.

Call 239-533-7474 with questions or e-mail bclayton@leegov.com.