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DEP Launches Storm Drain Art Project

Release Date: January 16, 2018

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Department of Environmental Protection Launches Storm Drain Art Contest; Submissions Accepted Now Through February 16

The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection invites artists to submit entries for the 2018 Storm Drain Art Contest. The contest uses art to educate residents about the connection between storm drains, streams and the Chesapeake Bay.

In April, six winners’ art work will be painted on storm drains in the Wheaton area in honor of Earth Day.

“Many County residents and businesses are not aware of the impact our collective actions have on water quality. Littering or pouring oil down storm drains directly pollutes local waterways, such as Sligo Creek,” said Patty Bubar, acting director of the DEP. ”Painting storm drains with educational messages not only brings these important issues to people’s minds, but also beautifies the community with art in unexpected places. This year, we're especially excited to be partnering with the Mid-County Regional Service Center and the Wheaton Urban District to include categories specific to Wheaton in the contest. Together, we can show that improving our community and our natural resources go hand-in-hand."

Entries are accepted in one of five categories:

  • Environment and Youth (For ages 16 and under only)
  • Water
  • Fight litter
  • Wheaton area specific
  • Celebrate Wheaton’s cultural diversity 

The submissions should be colorful, creative, original and easy to reproduce. Each design must include a short tagline or message -- in any language -- related to the chosen category. The artist can choose their preferred medium, but the final entry should be a .jpg, .png or .pdf of the design and can be a photograph submission of the final piece.

All entries must be received by 4 p.m. on February 16. The winner of each category will be chosen by a panel, with the sixth winner decided by public voting on Facebook.

Storm drain art, including the winning entries from the 2015 contest are currently visible at the Aspen Hill, Germantown and Kensington Park Libraries, the White Oak Community Recreation Center and other sites.  Those storm drains educate on litter, picking up pet waste and the connection between storm drains and streams.  Some of the messages are in both English and Spanish.

The contest is hosted by the DEP, the Mid-County Regional Services Center, the Wheaton Urban District, and the Wheaton Arts and Entertainment District in collaboration with Department of Transportation, Montgomery Parks, Friends of Sligo Creek, One Montgomery Green and Rock Creek Conservancy.

For more information on the contest and how to enter, go to

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Media Contact: Public Information Office 240-777-6507