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


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 19-002
January 11, 2019
Contact: deppressoffice@dep.nyc.gov; (718) 595-6600

Water Resources Art & Poetry Contest Inspires Next Generation of Environmentalists

2018 Art and Poetry Contest Winners

Students from New York City and the Upstate Watersheds are invited to submit Original Works of Art and Poetry; Work of the 2018 Art Champions is Available on DEP’s Flickr Page

New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Vincent Sapienza today announced the launch of the 33rd annual Water Resources Art and Poetry Contest. Second through twelfth grade students attending public, independent, charter or parochial schools, and those who are home-schooled, in New York City and in the East and West of Hudson watersheds, are invited to create original art and compose poetry that reflects an appreciation for New York’s shared water resources. Entries will be accepted online until March 1, 2019.

“DEP’s annual Art and Poetry contest continues to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards to learn about, protect and celebrate our shared natural resources,” said DEP Commissioner Sapienza. “For over three decades, the annual Art and Poetry contest has provided young New Yorkers a wonderful opportunity to showcase their creative talents while expressing the importance of protecting our environment and water resources.”

Students can submit poems and artwork including paintings, collages, three-dimensional models, photography, animation and videos of dance performances, public service announcements and songs based on five central themes: water, the drinking water system, wastewater treatment, harbor water quality and stewardship/climate change.

Last year, about 1,300 New York City and watershed students (grades 2–12) representing 75 schools submitted either original poems or artwork about New York’s water resources. In May, participants were honored at a celebration at the Queens Theatre in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park where the artwork and poems were displayed. For this year’s contest, teachers, parents and students can visit nyc.gov/dep/artandpoetry to view the contest guidelines and resource materials, submit entries online, see past winners, and learn more about New York City water.

DEP’s Water Resources Art and Poetry program helps raise awareness about the importance of clean, high-quality drinking water, and what it takes to maintain New York City’s water supply and wastewater treatment systems. The 2019 contest will focus on five central themes that incorporate STEM and humanities disciplines:

  • 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 and maintenance.
  • New York City Wastewater Treatment System: To examine our sewer infrastructure; and the purpose of, and process for, cleaning wastewater in New York City and in the East and West of Hudson Watersheds.
  • Harbor Water Quality and 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 resolve environmental issues that impact our neighborhoods, our city, and beyond.

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 from each category (grades 2–3, 4–5, 6–7, 8–9, and 10–12).

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing approximately 1 billion gallons of high quality drinking water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8.5 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 $19.4 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 at, or follow us on Twitter.

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600