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May 15, 2014


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

Department of Environmental Protection Hosts 28th Annual Water Resources Art & Poetry Awards Ceremony

675 Students Submitted More than 580 Artwork and Poetry Entries about NYC Water

The Submissions of the Water Champions Can be Viewed on DEP’s Flickr Page

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today hosted an awards ceremony for participants in the 28th Annual Water Resources Art and Poetry Contest. 675 students (grades 2-12) from New York City and Watershed communities were honored for creating more than 580 original pieces of artwork and poetry that reflect an appreciation for New York’s water resources, wastewater treatment systems, and the importance of water conservation. In addition, through the art and poetry submitted, students raised the awareness about the importance of maintaining New York City’s water supply and wastewater infrastructure. The ceremony included remarks from Reggie Harris, Poets in the Branches Coordinator at the Poets House and was held at Manhattan Community College’s Tribeca Performing Arts Center. 

“The Water Resources Art and Poetry Contest is an engaging  way to teach students about the infrastructure that supplies more than half the state’s population with clean drinking water and has helped dramatically improve the health of our waterways,”  said DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd. “I continue to be impressed by the energy and creativity that go into each of the submissions we receive and I am confident that each of our participants will serve as life-long stewards of our shared natural resources.”

Students from 68 schools participated in this year’s Water Resource Art and Poetry Contest and all participants were honored as DEP Water Ambassadors and received a certificate recognizing their contribution.  In addition, from the more than 580 submissions, a group of judges selected 39 participants as this year’s Water Champions. 

DEP’s Water Resources Art and Poetry program raises 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 expression of 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 look at the history of the city’s drinking water system.
  • The New York City Wastewater Treatment System: To examine how the City treats more than 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, and the New York City Green Infrastructure Plan as a way to manage stormwater.

This year’s Water Champions are:

Student NameSchool
Grade 2-3 Art Clarissel Nuñez Valdez PS 208
  Talae Powell Smith PS 50
  Tariq Bradshaw PS 95
Grade 2-3 Poetry Anushri Mahabir PS 108
  Kanai BeyEnglish PS 116
  Jaelynn Rivera Hellenic Classical charter School
  Mateen Nassirpour Valhalla Union Free School
Grade 4-5 Art Melanie Rojas PS 148
  Kate Romero St. Camillus School
  Keyara Bailey JCC Cornerstone
  Tyanna Reddick JCC Cornerstone
  Miranda Torn The Blue School
  Aiden Pasquin PS 31
  Kelly Pillcorema PS 21
Grade 4-5 Poetry Mrs. Pacheo's Class Margaretville Central School
  Mrs. Underwood's Class Margaretteville Central School
  James Caro The Blue School
  Brandon Udairam PS 50
Grade 6-7 Art Betty Jin MS 74
  Shyanne Parson IS 229
Grade 6-7 Poetry Jasmine Medrano St. Elizabeth School
  Di'Ánna Bonomolo MS 244
  Haley Holmes Notre Dame Academy
Grade 8-9 Art Sabrina Vee MS 74
  Brandon Cover MS 582
Grade 8-9 Poetry Shawn Questel Tottenville High School
  Jessica Antal St. Thomas the Apostle School
  Bridget Pynn Bishop Kearney HS
Grade 10-12 Art Sarujen Sivakumar Brooklyn International High School
  Jose Manuel Cubero Brooklyn International High School
  Jhon-Kelly Saint Louis Brooklyn International High School
  Keyla Mero Brooklyn International High School
  SA Tasnim Ahmed Newcomers High School
  Armando Fuentes Art and Design High School
  Amanda Lopez American Sign Language School
  Dorian Dreyfuss Riverdale Country School
  Luis Garcia Bronx Children's School
Grade 10-12 Poetry Kristin Furfaro Bishop Kearney High School
  Rebecca Flowers Riverdale Country School

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 nearly $14 billion in investments planned over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year.  This capital program is responsible for critical projects like City Water Tunnel No. 3; the Staten Island Bluebelt program, an ecologically sound and cost-effective stormwater management system; the city’s Watershed Protection Program, which protects sensitive lands upstate near the city’s reservoirs in order to maintain their high water quality; and the installation of more than 820,000 Automated Meter Reading devices, which will allow customers to track their daily water use, more easily manage their accounts and be alerted to potential leaks on their properties. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/nycwater, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/nycwater.

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