AREC Nature Photo Contest

DNREC’s Aquatic Resources Education Center (AREC) nature photography contest is now open for submissions from photographers and nature lovers. All entries must be photos taken in the Tony Florio Woodland Beach Wildlife Area.

The contest is intended to increase public awareness of the natural wonders of the Aquatic Resources Education Center and surrounding Tony Florio Woodland Beach Wildlife Area.

Children and adults were encouraged to visit the wildlife area and take and submit photographs of aquatic life, birds and other wildlife, scenic landscapes, and people enjoying the outdoors.

This peaceful, scenic area is a destination along the Delaware Bayshore Byway. It is a birders’ delight and features two fishing ponds, trails, and a raised boardwalk with vistas across the tidal salt marsh to Delaware Bay.

Photos taken as part of the contest will be seen by hundreds of people and may be included in DNREC web pages, social media and educational publications.

The Details

Categories, Age Groups and Judging

“Windy Morning Waves,” by Tracy Thompkins, of Wilmington

Prizes will be awarded in three categories and in three age groups. Entries are limited to 10 photos per person.

The categories are birds, nature and people enjoying nature. The three age groups are children under age 13, teens aged 13 to 18 and adults aged 19 and older.

Judging will be based on how well the photos represent the following criteria: things you can see and do at the Woodland Beach Wildlife Area, originality/creativity and universal appeal. The judging panel will include DNREC educators at the Aquatic Resources Education Center.


The photo contest is open for submissions of photos taken between Sept. 30, 2022 and Sept. 29, 2023. Winners will be notified by email.


The Woodland Beach Wildlife Area is mainly located along Route 9, just a few miles north of the entrance to Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. From Smyrna, head east on Route 6 to Route 9. Turn left on Route 9 for the Aquatic Resources Education Center or continue on Route 6 to the Woodland Beach pier.

There are five parking areas with free access to the wildlife area. More parking areas are available with a Conservation Access Pass, making it even easier to explore the wildlife area.

For more information about the contest, call 302-735-8689 or email