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Conserve and Protect Our Water Poster Contest

Congratulations to the Winners of the 2017-2018 Poster Contest!

This year, we received 873 posters from students in 44 middle schools across New York State. The 14 winning posters will be featured in a 2019 calendar, which will be distributed later this year. Congratulations to all of our winning students! Please read on for the details of the contest. We look forward to another contest in the fall!

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 (Grades 6-8) 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 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 an 8½" x 11" calendar.

Prizes and Awards

  • Each participant receives a Certificate of Recognition (PDF, 114 KB).
  • The top 14 posters will be included in a 2019 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.

Hot Topic

How much water does it take to produce the things that we use every day? Food, clothes, even energy require gallons upon gallons of water to produce! Did you know that it takes more than twice as much water to make a water bottle than the bottle can hold? Did you know that it takes 53 gallons of water to produce one egg, and as much as 600 gallons of water to produce a cotton T-shirt? It can take over 20,000 gallons of water to manufacture a car! For more information on your water footprint and what you can do to save water, visit the USGS Water Science School and calculate your water footprint. (Please note: these links will take you off DEC's website.)

Release Form

Each poster must have a Poster Contest Release Form (PDF, 28 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.