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May 13, 2010


Farrell Sklerov / Mercedes Padilla (718) 595-6600

DEP Holds 24th Annual Water Resources Art & Poetry Award Ceremony

More than 400 NYC Students Submit Artwork and Poems About NYC Water

Environmental Protection Commissioner Cas Holloway today hosted the 24th Annual Water Resources Art and Poetry Award Ceremony. More than 400 students from fourth, fifth and sixth grades from New York City public, independent and parochial schools were honored for creating original artwork and composing poetry about the New York City water supply and wastewater treatment systems and the importance of water conservation. A Proclamation from Mayor Bloomberg recognized all the children who participated. The ceremony was held at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, where the students' artwork and poetry was displayed during the ceremony.

"Mayor Bloomberg makes our water system strong by building tunnels, dams and protecting land. DEP works to make sure the system runs smoothly, from Jamaica Bay to Westchester to Ashokan," said Commissioner Holloway. "The student artists and poets we honor today know that clean water's price can't be measured. And they'll make sure all New Yorkers understand that it's a resource that must be treasured."

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 ceremony recognized the student's creative work for capturing four central themes:

  • Water – A Precious Resource for People and Wildlife: Students focused on the importance of the quality of our tap and harbor water.
  • The New York City Water Supply System: Students focused on how more than one billion gallons of drinking water is collected and distributed throughout New York City daily.
  • The New York City Wastewater Treatment System: Students focused on how the City treats more than 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater every day.
  • Water Conservation: Students focused on the value of water and ways to increase conservation.

DEP's Water Resources Art and Poetry Award Ceremony is an opportunity for New York City's fourth, fifth and sixth grade students from nearly 100 schools to showcase their knowledge of New York City's water systems. Thirteen entries from individuals and groups were selected as borough winners and 412 participating students were designated as citywide winners. All students were honored at the ceremony and received a certificate for their participation.

Borough winners for art and poetry were from the following schools:

The Bronx:

  • Art: Victoria Giraldi of St. Clare of Assisi
  • Poetry: Jeffrey Weiner of Horace Mann School


  • Art: Noah Tang of PS 31 and Anna Usvitsky of PS 102
  • Poetry: Jane Hagemann of IS 239 and Jon Paul Moran of PS 204


  • Art: Shayna Febus, Jahsent Iylanjah, Riley Longo, Ethiopia Jarvis, Aiden Peleg, Ariel Rosas and Io Weiss of Earth School
  • Poetry: Cassidy Egan Soloft of Trevor Day School


  • Art: Jennifer Villa of PS 71
  • Poetry: Afsana Rahman of PS 50

Staten Island:

  • Art: Kaitlyn Askew and Makenna Athanassiou of Notre Dame Academy Elementary School and Kristen Fontana of Our Lady Star of the Sea
  • Poetry: Erika Saquisili, Tim Vega, Sarah Watson and Regina Wheeler of PS 721

DEP manages the City's water supply, providing more than 1 billion gallons of water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8 million in New York City, and residents of Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties. New York City's water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the City, and comprises 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 7,400 miles of sewer lines take wastewater to 14 in-City treatment plants.

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