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February 07, 2014


deppressoffice@dep.nyc.gov, (718)595-6600

Department of Environmental Protection Announces Start of 28th Annual Water Resources Art & Poetry Contest

2013 Winning Entries Can be Viewed on DEP’s Flickr Page

New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Carter Strickland today announced the start of the 28th annual Water Resources Art and Poetry Contest.  Second through twelfth grade students attending public, independent, charter, and parochial schools (or 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 our shared water resources.  Entries will be accepted until March 1, 2014 and may be submitted online, by mail, or delivered to DEP Headquarters.  Entries submitted by mail or delivered must be 22" x 28" or smaller and have a completed entry form attached securely on the back. This year’s contest will also accept digital art and videos. An award ceremony honoring all student participants will take place in May.

“The Water Resource Art and Poetry Contest is a great way to educate youngsters about the network of reservoirs and protected lands that supply clean and healthy drinking water to more than half the state’s population and the wastewater infrastructure that has helped us reconnect with our waterways and waterfront,” said Commissioner Strickland.  “Hundreds of students in New York City and watershed communities participate each year and their creativity and enthusiasm for learning about our shared water resources is creating a tradition of environmental stewardship that will span generations.”

Last year, more than 900 New York City and Watershed students from more than 50 schools submitted artwork and poems about NYC Water.  In May, 2013, they were honored at an awards ceremony at Tribeca Performing Arts Center at Borough of Manhattan Community College where their artwork and poems were displayed.  For this year’s contest, teachers, parents and students can visit www.nyc.gov/dep/artandpoetry  to view the contest guidelines, submit entries online, see past winners, and learn about NYC 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 2014 contest will focus on four central themes:

  • Water—A Precious Resource: To highlight the importance of the quality of our tap and harbor water.
  • The New York City Water Supply System: To understand the history of the NYC drinking water system.
  • The New York City Wastewater Treatment System: To examine how the City treats nearly 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater every day.
  • Water Stewardship: What Can I do to Help Conserve Water? To bring attention to the value of water and ways to conserve it, and the NYC Green Infrastructure Plan as a cost-effective way to manage stormwater and ensure a clean NYC harbor.

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 one art and one poetry winner from each category (grades 2-3, 4-6, 7-8, and 9-12). 

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8.3 million in New York City, and residents of Ulster, Orange, Putnam, and Westchester counties. This water comes from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and the system comprises 19 reservoirs, three controlled lakes, and numerous tunnels and aqueducts. DEP employs nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 scientists, engineers, surveyors, watershed maintainers and others professionals in the upstate watershed. In addition to its $68 million payroll and $157 million in annual taxes paid in upstate counties, DEP has invested more than $1.5 billion in watershed protection programs—including partnership organizations such as the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the Watershed Agricultural Council—that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program with over $14 billion in investments planned over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nycwater, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/nycwater.

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