Watershed Photo Contest: Official Rules and Entry Form

The DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship is looking for striking photographic images taken throughout Delaware’s watersheds. The following are the rules for this contest.

Please read the entire set of rules of the Delaware Watersheds Photo Contest before submitting an entry. The entry form is found at the bottom of this page.

Questions and inquiries about contest rules can submitted via email, at, or by calling 302-672-1149.

Deadline for Entry

The photograph entry and completed Submission Form, including Acknowledgement of Rules and Release Statement, must be submitted by midnight on Nov. 10, 2023.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (“DNREC”) shall not accept late or incomplete entries, or entries that have not followed these Official Rules.

DNREC reserves the right to adjust any deadline(s) as the result of causes beyond its immediate control. DNREC will take reasonable steps to notify of any adjustments made to deadlines.


Photography submissions must not contain inappropriate, indecent, or obscene content. DNREC has sole discretion in determining whether any photo submission contains inappropriate, indecent, or obscene content. Photo submissions determined by DNREC to contain inappropriate, indecent, or obscene content shall be rejected by DNREC.

Entrants must not submit images that involve the willful harassment of wildlife, damage to the environment by the photographer, or that infringe on the rights of any other photographer or person. Entrants must minimize disturbance of wildlife and habitats. Judges will disqualify photographs of any animal appearing to be stressed from being trapped or mishandled.

Photography submissions must be original, previously unpublished, and created solely by the submitting entrant(s), and not violate the intellectual property rights, copyright, or right of property of any third party. DNREC will reject photo submissions that it determines, in its sole discretion, contain copyrighted materials. Photo submissions that have been entered into other contests, or have been published elsewhere (newspapers, magazines, online, etc.) are not eligible. No photographs previously entered in the 2018, 2019, 2021, or 2022 Delaware Watersheds Photo Contests will be accepted.

Photo submissions should accurately reflect the subject matter and the scene as it appeared. Photos that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimization (removal of dust, cropping, reasonable adjustments to exposure, color, and contrast, etc.) will be disqualified.

Photos may not include discernable people, names, signatures, logos, or other identifying marks.

Photos must be taken within the state of Delaware.

Acceptable Photos

Photos may show animal behavior, portraits of native wildlife in natural habitat, sustainable watershed practices, native plants, natural landscapes, waterscapes, and agricultural practices within Delaware’s watersheds. For the purposes of this contest, “native” should mean “indigenous to the area it was taken.”

You may enter as many photos as you would like but you must submit a completed submission form for each photo you enter.

Photos that include non-native species as the focus of the subject matter will not be accepted.

Glossary of Terms

Natural Landscapes — Photographs of the scenic visible features of Delaware’ countryside or land.

Waterscapes — Photographs of any waterbodies such as streams, rivers, lakes, creeks, estuaries, bays, ocean, etc.

Native Wildlife — Photographs of domesticated animals are not eligible but you may include pictures of live mammals, birds, fish, insects, reptiles, and amphibians indigenous of Delaware.

Agricultural practices — Photographs of the practice of farming, including but not limited to the cultivation of soil for growing crops and rearing animals for food, wool, and other products.

Sustainable Watershed Practices — Photographs of practices or things that help improve water quality, such as installing rain gardens, pervious pavement, rain barrels, and planting native plants, pollinator habitat, etc.


Find your watershed: Contestants must use the map on the registration site to confirm which Delaware watershed the photo was taken in.

Learn more about sustainable watershed practices on the DNREC website:


This contest is open to legal residents of the United States at the time of entry. The contest is open to photographers of all ages and skill levels. DNREC staff members and immediate family are not eligible to submit photos in the contest.

Judging and Selection of Winning Entries

An initial judging panel of DNREC staff will determine finalists that will proceed to online public voting through the DNREC Division of Watersheds Facebook page between Nov. 17 and 22, 2023. The public will determine the winning photograph. The initial judging panel will consist of a photographer, an educator, and a scientist. One winner will be selected.


Images must be taken within the state of Delaware. Photographs should highlight Delaware’s natural beauty within the watershed and focus on subject matter such as agricultural practices, waterways, landscapes, native wildlife and plants, and sustainable watershed practices.

By entering this contest, entrants waive any right they have to dispute or otherwise challenge DNREC’s selection of finalists. If, in DNREC’s opinion, there is any suspected or actual evidence of tampering with or alteration of any portion of the contest, or for any other reason, DNREC reserves the right to terminate the contest.

Prizes for Winning Entries

The winner will receive a prize pack consisting of a $250 Visa Gift Card, Delaware State Parks Pass for 2024, a signed certificate from Governor John Carney, a print of the winning photograph and other goodies. Their photo will be featured in Outdoor Delaware magazine.

DNREC will make reasonable efforts to notify winners by phone or email by Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023. Contest winners will be announced publicly via email, news release(s) and social media on Nov. 23, 2023.

General Provisions

Photo Release: By entering this Contest and submitting a completed Submission Form, I, on behalf of myself and, if applicable, the Child identified on the Submission Form, grant permission to the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and its employees a royalty-free, world-wide, perpetual, nonexclusive license to display, distribute, reproduce, and create derivative works of the photo submission, in whole or in part, in any media now existing or subsequently developed, for any State of Delaware or DNREC purpose, including, but not limited to advertising and promotion of DNREC in print, its web site, and its publications. By entering this Contest, I further agree that the Photo submission complies with these Official Rules. I will make no monetary or other claim against DNREC or the State of Delaware for the use of any content provided DNREC in connection with My or My Child’s Participation in this Contest.

DNREC is an Agency of the State of Delaware subject to Delaware’s Freedom of Information Act (29 Del. C. 10001 et seq). Participants are advised that any information provided to DNREC in conjunction with this Contest may be deemed a public record under FOIA.

No Third-Party Rights: This Release Form affects the rights, obligations, and duties of the Parties only. Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, nothing in this Release Form is intended to, nor shall it be interpreted or construed in a manner which shall: (a) grant any third party the right to enforce any of the terms, rights, or obligations set forth herein; (b) confer any substantive or procedural rights or privileges to any third party in relation to or arising out of any collateral civil or criminal legal proceeding; or (c) waive or otherwise affect the sovereignty of the State of Delaware or the application of 10 Del. C. § 4001, et seq. to any civil proceeding involving any officer, employee, or agent of the State of Delaware.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Delaware. Any legal action brought by either party to enforce any provision of this Agreement shall be brought in an appropriate Delaware State Court.

How to Enter

Use the online entry form.

Images must be at least 1650 by 2100 pixels (no larger than 10MB) resolution and the digital image must be submitted in .jpeg or .png format. Only photos that meet the criteria along with the completed submission form will be eligible.

If the participant is a child under the age of 18, the child’s parent or guardian must complete and submit the form.

The required submission form includes the entrant’s name, phone number, address, email address, the location the image was taken, and acknowledgement of rules.