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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 17-36
May 17, 2017
deppressoffice@dep.nyc.gov, (718) 595-6600

1,800 Students from Across New York Honored During Department of Environmental Protection’s Art & Poetry Contest Celebration

2017 Water Resources Art & Poetry Ceremony

Students from 100 Schools Submitted More Than 1,700 Pieces of Artwork and Poetry

Entries and Photos from the Event Can be Viewed on DEP’s Flickr page

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Tuesday hosted a celebration event for student participants in the 31st Annual Water Resources Art and Poetry Contest at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center in Long Island City, Queens. More than 1,800 students (grades 2-12) from 100 schools in New York City, Watershed communities and homeschools were honored for creating more than 1,700 original pieces of artwork and poetry that reflect an appreciation for New York’s water resources, the drinking water supply, harbor water, wastewater treatment, and the importance of water conservation. Student entries also raised awareness about the importance of maintaining New York City’s critical water supply and wastewater infrastructure.

“For more than three decades, DEP’s annual Art and Poetry contest has provided a venue for young New Yorkers to learn about the importance of protecting our environment while simultaneously developing their own means of artistic expression,” said DEP Acting Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “Nearly half the State of New York relies on the City’s water supply system so this is a terrific opportunity for students in both New York City and watershed school systems to celebrate our shared natural resources.”

At the event, students were honored as DEP Water Ambassadors and received certificates recognizing their contribution. Additionally, from the more than 1,700 submissions, a group of judges selected 75 entries representing 137 student group projects as this year’s Water Champions.

The 2017 contest focused on five central themes that incorporate STEM education and the humanities:

  • Water, A Precious Resource: To recognize the importance of a clean and plentiful supply of water.
  • New York City Water Supply System: To explore the history of the New York City Water Supply System and its present-day source, operation, delivery, protection, maintenance, and stewardship.
  • New York City Wastewater Treatment System: To examine the purpose of, and process for, cleaning used water in New York City and in the East and West of Hudson Watersheds.
  • Harbor Water Quality & Healthy Marine Ecosystems: To discover the richness of our marine life and opportunities for recreation and commerce on local waterbodies; and to understand the work that is being done to monitor and ensure healthy water quality.
  • Water Stewardship and Climate Change—What Can We Do To Help?: To consider our influence on the environment and how we can address and help to resolve environmental issues that impact our neighborhoods, our city, and beyond.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than nine million residents, including eight million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 in the upstate watershed. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with a planned $14 billion in investments over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

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NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

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19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600