Newsletter Sign-up Printer Friendly Format Translate This Page Text Size Small Medium Large

2019 Water Resources Art & Poetry Contest Guidelines

Thank you for your interested in the 33rd annual Water Resources Art and Poetry Contest. The contest has now ended. We look forward to having you join us next year for the 34th Annual Water Resource Art & Poetry Contest. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at


Second through twelfth grade public, independent, charter, parochial, and homeschooled students in New York City and the East and West of Hudson Watersheds are eligible to participate each year. View the NYC Water Story Map to see watershed boundaries.


  • All entries must relate to New York’s water resources. To view a list of potential topics, visit 2019 Art & Poetry Contest Themes.
  • Art entries can include paintings, drawings, photographs, models, dance videos, music performances, public service announcements, or animations, for example.
  • Students may work in small groups or individually.
  • On the front of each entry, please include the following information:
    • Student’s first name
    • School
    • Grade
    • Borough/watershed
  • Art and poetry files need to be less than 25mb. Click here for help compressing a file.
  • Art entry files (such as photos, digital art, videos, etc.) may be submitted in a jpg, pdf, avi, wmv, or mov format. If submitting drawings, paintings, or 3D works, we suggest submitting a high-resolution photo or scan.
  • Poetry entry files may be submitted in a doc, txt, rtf, or pdf format.
  • All entries become the property of DEP to be used for educational purposes.

Registration and Submission

Step 1—To register for the Art & Poetry Contest:

  • Complete the online Teacher Registration Form. This form only needs to be submitted once, even if you have multiple student entries.
  • The Teacher Registration Form asks for the following information:
    • Teacher name, email address, and phone number
    • School/organization name, address, and borough (or watershed area)
    • Principal name and email address
    • Number of participating students
  • Before you submit your Teacher Registration Form, please be sure the form is accurate. This is very important since the registration will be used to notify you and to acknowledge student and school participation.
  • After submitting the Teacher Registration Form, you will receive a confirmation email at the email address provided. The email will contain a link to the Student Entry Form.

Step 2—To submit Student Entries:

  • Use the Student Entry Form to provide important information about each participant and to submit art or poetry entries.
  • A Student Entry Form will need to be completed for each participating student, whether they worked individually or as part of a group. Reuse the link to the Student Entry Form to submit entries for additional student participants. NOTE: If you are submitting entries for a large number of students, please contact for assistance.
  • The Student Entry Form asks for the following information:
    • Student name and grade
    • Teacher name and email address
    • Is this an art or poetry entry
    • Title of student entry
    • If this is a group project, please provide the names of the other group members
  • The entry file should be titled using the student’s first and last name (for example: John_Doe).
  • Next, to submit a student entry, attach the entry file and press “Submit”.
  • After submitting each Student Entry Form, you will receive a confirmation email to the email address provided. Be sure to 1) carefully review your email confirmation for accuracy and 2) be sure you receive an email confirmation for each student you enter. Sometimes, teacher emails are entered incorrectly (especially when entering the information multiple times).
  • Teachers should reuse their link to the Student Entry Form to submit entries for additional student participants.


  • Entries will be judged based on creativity in interpreting one or more of the contest themes, accuracy of information, originality and skill.
  • An impartial panel of judges will review the entries, and select art and poetry winners called Water Champions, from each of the following grade categories—Grades 2–3, Grades 4–5, Grades 6–7, Grades 8–9, and Grades 10–12. Please notify us about your student participants with special needs.
  • All student Water Champions and Water Ambassadors (all other student participants) will be recognized for their participation.


  1. Entries will be accepted from January 9, 2019 through March 1, 2019.
  2. Principals and teachers will be notified of student winners by the middle of April.
  3. A celebration will take place in May.


Please contact with questions about the annual Water Resource Art & Poetry Contest and information about New York City’s water resources. We look forward to seeing your student entries. Thank you so much for your participation.

Did You Know?