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2015 Art and Poetry Winning Entries


January 8, 2016


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

Department of Environmental Protection Launches 30th Annual Water Resources Art & Poetry Contest for Second Through 12th Grade Students

More than 1,300 Students Representing 75 Schools Entered Original Works of Art and Poetry in 2015

Last Year’s Winning Submissions can be Viewed on DEP’s Flickr Page

New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Emily Lloyd today announced the launch of the 30th annual Water Resources Art and Poetry Contest. Second through twelfth grade students attending public, independent, charter or parochial schools and/or 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. 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, stewardship and climate change. Entries will be accepted online until March 4, 2016 and a celebration honoring all student participants will take place in May.

“For 30 years, the 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 Commissioner Lloyd. “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.” 

Last year, 1,350 New York City and watershed students from 75 schools submitted either original poems or artwork about New York’s water resources. In May, all participants were honored at a celebration at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center at the Borough of Manhattan Community College where the 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 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 2016 contest will focus on five central themes that incorporate STEM disciplines:

  • 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 and watershed protection.
  • The New York City Wastewater Treatment System: To examine how the City cleans nearly 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater every day.
  • Harbor Water Quality and Healthy Marine Ecosystems: To explore NYC’s surrounding waterways and how we can continue to protect and improve harbor water quality.
  • Water Stewardship and Climate Change: To bring attention to the value of water and how we can help to protect our environment.

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 more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than nine 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. 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 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, or follow us on Twitter.

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