Department of Environmental Conservation

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Conserve and Protect Our Water Poster Contest

Poster Contest Theme

All living things need water to survive. What would we do if we didn't have enough water? What if the water that we have was too polluted to use? This poster contest is meant to encourage students to learn how to conserve and protect our water resources, now and for future generations.

All Middle School students in New York State public and private schools are eligible to enter the poster contest. One student per poster.

Poster Requirements

Posters must clearly convey the theme "How to Conserve and Protect Our Water". 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 Superman, Batman, 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 an 8½" x 11" calendar.

Prizes and Awards

  • Each participant receives a Certificate of Recognition (PDF, 64 KB).
  • The top 14 posters will be included in a 2017 calendar which will be distributed throughout New York State.
  • The 14 winning students and the teacher of the top winner receive an engraved plaque, reusable water bottle, and an invitation to their local chapter's NYWEA conference.


DEC 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 water conservation and protection 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

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.

2015 Hot Topics

If you need some help brainstorming the concept for your poster, here are some cool ideas:

  • Technology - How can we use new technologies to conserve water (i.e. soil moisture sensors for irrigation systems)?
  • Water around the world - how do people in underdeveloped countries get their water, and how much water do they use?
  • Drought and floods - what are the effects of having too little water, or too much water?
  • Pollution from sewage - why is water treatment important?
  • Agricultural runoff - what are the effects of contaminated runoff on our lakes and streams (i.e. pesticides, phosphates)?

Release Form

Each poster must have a Poster Contest Release Form (PDF, 23 KB) securely fastened to the back of the poster. All artwork submitted becomes the property of the NYSDEC, and may be reproduced. A poster not accompanied by a completed release form will not be eligible for judging.

Mail To

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


For more information on this poster contest, please contact Beth Guidetti or Brenan Tarrier at 518-402-8086.