Sunday, November 26, 2023

DEC seeks submissions for student poster contest, Jan. 12 deadline

Top Winner - Mudanvit Goyal Mildred E Strang Middle School Yorktown Heights, NY Watershed superhero

DEC and NYWEA are sponsoring the 2023-2024 “Create a Watershed Super Hero” (PDF) Poster Contest for middle school students. Fourteen winners will have the honor of having their artwork in a 2025 calendar distributed across New York State. The deadline for submitting posters is January 12, 2024.

Poster Contest Theme

What you do at home and in your community affects everyone downstream. This poster contest is meant to encourage students to learn about their role in the watershed they live in and how to conserve and protect our water resources, now and for future generations.

All Middle School students (Grades 6-8) in New York State public and private schools are eligible to enter the poster contest. One student per poster. Deadline for receipt of posters is Friday, January 12, 2024.

Poster Requirements

Posters must clearly convey the theme “Creating a Watershed Super Hero can be an inspiration for positive environmental action”. You may use any type of media, including watercolor, pen and ink, crayon, chalk, and markers. The poster must be 8½ ” x 11″, landscape layout on a white background. Posters must contain original hand-drawn artwork – no computer generated posters or graphics. Copyrighted characters (such as Dory, Sponge Bob, Ariel, etc.) and clip art will not be accepted. Keep in mind that posters will be on public display and should be easy to see or read. Winning posters will be compiled for distribution as part of a 2024 calendar.

Prizes and Awards

  • Each participant receives a Certificate of Recognition (PDF).
  • The top 14 posters will be included in a 2024 calendar which will be distributed throughout New York State.
  • The 14 winning students will receive their framed poster presented by a NYWEA chapter representative.


DEC and NYWEA staff will review all posters and pick the top 30 entries. NYWEA membership and DEC staff will vote for the 14 winning posters. Judging will be based on the following criteria:

  • Clear and correct message conveyed by text and artwork
  • Creativity, originality, and artistic quality
  • Visual clarity

Do Your Homework

We encourage you to research the topic of “Protect Our Watersheds” so the posters reflect the contest theme. The following websites may help you in your research (Please note: some of the links below will take you off DEC’s website.)

Lesson Plan Ideas

DEC created a lesson plan and presentation for teachers and a student worksheet. The lesson instructs students on how locate a watershed, identify possible pollution sources, and guides students to brainstorm solutions and actions to reduce and prevent pollution within a watershed.

Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) is a collection of innovative, water-related activities designed for use in K-12 classrooms. Additional resources are available on Project WET’s national web site.

Hot Topic

Human activities leave behind materials like pesticides, pet waste, trash and even loose soil that can wash into our waters and pollute them. There are lots of actions that people can take to protect water-proper fertilizer application, septic tank maintenance, planting vegetation along the shoreline (buffer), cleaning up pet waste, planting rain gardens, pumping-out boats properly, and helping to prevent sewage spills (don’t dump fats or grease; don’t flush diapers, baby wipes or personal hygiene products).

Release Form

Each poster must have a Poster Contest Release Form (PDF) securely fastened to the back of the poster. All artwork submitted becomes the property of the DEC, and may be reproduced. A poster not accompanied by a completed release form will not be eligible for judging. The release form and announcement is also available in:

Mail To

NYSDEC – Calendar Contest
625 Broadway, 4th Floor
Albany, NY 12233-3508


For more information on this poster contest, please contact


Top Photo: Top Winner – Mudanvit Goyal – Mildred E Strang Middle School – Yorktown Heights, NY
Middle Photo: Evie Loewy – Carrie Palmer Weber Middle School – Port Washington, NY

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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at

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