The Black & White

Storm Drain Art contest to spread environmental awareness

A+previous+storm+drain+art+contest+winner+reminds+individuals+to+be+mindful+about+what+goes+down+the+drain.+The+contest+has+been+going+on+for+multiple+years+and+features+a+variety+of+categories+that+contestants+can+choose+to+enter.+Photo+courtesy+Montgomery+County+Department+of+Environmental+Protection.
A previous storm drain art contest winner reminds individuals to be mindful about what goes down the drain. The contest has been going on for multiple years and features a variety of categories that contestants can choose to enter. Photo courtesy Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection.

A previous storm drain art contest winner reminds individuals to be mindful about what goes down the drain. The contest has been going on for multiple years and features a variety of categories that contestants can choose to enter. Photo courtesy Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection.

A previous storm drain art contest winner reminds individuals to be mindful about what goes down the drain. The contest has been going on for multiple years and features a variety of categories that contestants can choose to enter. Photo courtesy Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection.

By Matthew Proestel

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The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection is conducting a storm drain art contest to educate residents on the interrelations between storm drains, streams and the health of the Chesapeake Bay, as well as the importance of being mindful about what goes down drains. The 2018 Storm Drain Art Contest, open to all Montgomery County residents (entries by individuals 18 or under require a guardian to sign off), will close Feb. 16 at 4pm.

Watershed Outreach Planner Ana Arriaza said she is excited about the upcoming contest and the awareness it will spread about often overlooked topics in the community.

“I enjoy working on this program because it allows me to be creative, interact with many talented people and spend time outside,” Arriaza said. “Through this program, I hope people realize that storm drains don’t treat water, they just pipe the water out of our communities and into our streams.”

Participants can submit to five categories, which include  “celebrate Wheaton’s cultural diversity,” “Wheaton area specific,” “water,” “fighting litter,” as well as “environment and youth” for ages 16 and under. Contestants can submit up to two pieces, which don’t have to be from the same category. Judges will select one winner from each category and will name a sixth winner receiving the most likes on Facebook.

Although this is only the second year of the contest, the storm drain art initiative started five years ago. The first contest had 18 entries, and judges selected three winners.

AP Environmental Science teacher Kelly Garton is supportive of the drain art contest.

“This program is great,” Garton said. “I hope that most people are aware that there are harmful things that go down these drains, and I think that it’s important to constantly remind people about this.”

Junior Danny Ghauri agrees with Garton on the importance of spreading awareness about storm water drains.

“Unless there are images of the wildlife of the bay, I don’t think people will really pay more attention to the fact that a lot of our stormwater ends up in the bay,” Ghauri said. “A lot of people may not realize that.”

About the Writer
Matthew Proestel, News Writer
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