Delaware Waterfowl and Trout Stamp Art Winners Chosen

Richard Clifton, a wildlife artist from the Milford area, won the Delaware waterfowl stamp contest for the 10th time with his painting of a wood duck in bottomland swamp. /DNREC photo

 

Two accomplished artists have again won top honors in Delaware’s Waterfowl Stamp and Trout Stamp art contests, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today. Best in Show in the DNREC-sponsored contests went to a painting of a wood duck in bottomland swamp by Richard Clifton of Milford, Del., which will grace the 2023/24 Delaware Waterfowl Stamp, and to a painting of a brown trout by Jeffrey Klinefelter of Etna Green, Ind., to be featured on the 2023 Delaware Trout Stamp.

The annual stamp art competition drew 13 entries for the 2023/24 Delaware Waterfowl Stamp and 12 entries for the 2023 Trout Stamp. The Waterfowl Stamp contest specified that submitted artwork must include the motif of a wood duck in bottomland swamp. Trout Stamp artwork entries could depict a rainbow, brown or brook trout.

Jeffrey Klinefelter of Etna Green, Ind. Won the state trout stamp contest for the seventh time with his painting of a brown trout. /DNREC photo
Jeffrey Klinefelter of Etna Green, Ind. Won the state trout stamp contest for the seventh time with his painting of a brown trout. /DNREC photo

As the 2023/24 Delaware Waterfowl Stamp winner, Clifton receives a $2,500 cash prize and 150 artist’s proofs of the limited edition print series of his first-place entry. Clifton, who resides on an historic family farm in the Milford area near Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, is an avid hunter and self-taught wildlife artist who works in acrylics, with waterfowl among his favorite subjects. He has painted 53 winning duck/waterfowl stamps, including 10 Delaware Waterfowl Stamps, the 1996 Australian Duck Stamp, and the 2007/08 and 2021/22 Federal Duck Stamps. Clifton’s work has appeared on magazine covers, a commemorative beer stein, engraved on shotguns for Ducks Unlimited, which named him 2018 International Artist of the Year, and has been displayed at top wildlife art shows throughout the country, including the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition and the Easton Waterfowl Festival.

As the 2023 Delaware Trout Stamp winner, Klinefelter receives a $250 cash prize and retains the rights to reproduce and sell prints of the stamp artwork. Klinefelter, a graduate of Indiana University’s Herron School of Art, has painted professionally for more than 20 years, and has won numerous stamp art contests – including three Delaware Waterfowl Stamp Art contests and seven Delaware Trout Stamp Art contests. Klinefelter also received an honorable mention in the 2023 state trout stamp contest for his painting of a brown and rainbow trout, and an honorable mention in the 2023/24 waterfowl stamp contest.

Other winners were:

  • 2023/24 Waterfowl Stamp – Second place: Guy Crittenden, Richmond, Va.; Third place: Caleb Metrich, Lake Tomahawk, Wisc.; honorable mentions: Jeffrey Klinefelter, Etna Green, Ind.; Frank Dolphens, Jr., Omaha, Neb.; and Jonathan Milo, Monroe, Conn.
  • 2023 Trout Stamp – Second place: Dennis Arp, Box Elder, S.D., rainbow trout; Third place: Tory Farris, Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, brown trout; honorable mentions: Tory Farris, Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, rainbow trout; David Weaver, Gettysburg, Pa., brook trout; and Jeffrey Klinefelter, Etna Green, Ind., brown and rainbow trout.

Artwork in each contest was judged by a different set of five judges, with each judge separately evaluating and scoring the respective contest artwork in person.

The winning 2023/24 Delaware Waterfowl Stamp will be available for purchase July 1, 2023, and the winning 2023 Delaware Trout Stamp will be available for purchase Jan. 1, 2023.

The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife, in partnership with Ducks Unlimited, started the Delaware Waterfowl Stamp and print program in 1980 to raise funds for waterfowl conservation, including acquiring and improving wetland habitats vital to the survival of migratory waterfowl. To date, more than $3.6 million has been raised. A Delaware Waterfowl Stamp and hunting license are required for most waterfowl hunters.

Delaware began requiring trout stamps for anglers in the 1950s, and a Delaware Trout Stamp and a general fishing license are required for most anglers to fish in designated trout waters during certain seasons. Funds from the sale of the stamps are used to purchase trout to stock in select streams in northern New Castle County and in two downstate ponds.

Delaware hunting and fishing licenses along with state waterfowl and trout stamps are sold online through the DNREC e-permitting system and by license agents statewide. Agents who sell hunting licenses also sell state waterfowl stamps that are required in addition to a license for hunting ducks and geese in Delaware. Agents who sell fishing licenses also sell trout stamps required in addition to a license to fish for trout in Delaware.

To learn more about Delaware’s Waterfowl Stamp contest, visit de.gov/waterfowlstamp. More information about the Trout Stamp contest can be found at de.gov/troutstamp.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities, and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 68,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

###


Students Win Contest for Earth Day Videos

Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, center, with the winners of DNREC’s 2022 Earth Day Video Contest, left to right: Middle school winner Johannes Chow, Elementary school winner Michael Hopkins and High school winner Nathen Going. DNREC Photo.

 

 

DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin today recognized student winners from throughout the state who won this year’s Earth Day video contest hosted by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. The contest was launched by DNREC to educate and engage youth about the importance of environmental protection and inspire them to be part of the solution to address climate change.

The contest invited students to produce and submit a 30-second video to answer the question, “If you were in charge of the world, what actions would you take to improve the health of our planet?”

“I am proud of our young people who participated in the DNREC Earth Day video contest,” said Governor John Carney. “They showed us all the ways – small and large – we can improve the health of our planet on Earth Day and every day, from picking up litter to practicing recycling to planting a tree at your school or in your neighborhood. Congratulations to the participants of the contest and we look forward to seeing the positive impact your make on our state and our environment in the future.”

“Our mission is to protect human health and the environment, and part of that is done through educating the public about our historic, cultural and natural resources,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “By hosting the video contest, we wanted to provide our students a platform to share their concerns and propose solutions to the environmental challenges we face today and into the future. These videos reflect their readiness to take on environmental leadership roles and make a difference.”

The Earth Day video contest was open to all Delaware students and was judged in three grade categories: K through 4, 5 through 8, and 9 through 12. Judging was based on how well the videos represented the following criteria: message/theme, visual effectiveness, originality/creativity and universal appeal. Serving on the judging panel were: Sherae’a “Rae” Moore, educator and State Representative; Maddy Lauria, freelance environmental journalist; Jackie Knoll, head environmental educator with the Center for the Inland Bays; and DNREC videographer Mike Polo.

The winners are:

K to 4: Michael Hopkins, a 7-year-old first grader at Kathleen H. Wilbur Elementary School in Bear, for the video “Save the Earth – It’s Easy-Peasy!”

5 to 8: Johannes Chow, a 12-year-old seventh grader at Brandywine Springs School in Wilmington, for the video “We Have Only One World”

9 to 12: Nathen Going, an 18-year-old 12th grader at Caesar Rodney High School in Camden, for the video “Save Our Planet”

Each of the videos are posted to de.gov/earthday and the @DelawareDNREC YouTube channel. DNREC also published a highlights video featuring clips from several entries. Each winner received a certificate, a $500 gift card, an annual pass to Delaware State Parks and a prize bag.

 

 

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

###


Delaware State Parks Wins National Competition for Excellence

Gov. John Carney announced Tuesday that Delaware State Parks won the prestigious 2021 National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management, which Delaware also won in 2015. The award is given by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration with the National Recreation and Park Association. Pictured with the 2021 Gold Medal Grand Plaque, from left to right, are the Delaware State Parks staff who worked on the award application: Shauna McVey, public information officer; Joe Ulrich, photography/videography manager; Laura Parks, land preservation technician; Martina Adams, special project coordinator; and Elena Stewart, land preservation specialist; and DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation Director Ray Bivens; Gov. Carney; along with Parks section leaders Greg Abbott, manager of Administrative Services; Matt Ritter, manager of Planning, Preservation and Development; and Grant Melville, manager of Operations, Maintenance and Programming; and DNREC Deputy Secretary Lisa Borin Ogden. DNREC photo.

 

Gov. John Carney joined Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin today to announce that DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation has won the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA) and National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) 2021 National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. This is the second time Delaware’s state parks received this prestigious award, having won it previously in 2015.

In May, Delaware, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas state parks systems were selected as finalists in the State Parks Division. This biennial Gold Medal award has only been given 13 times since its establishment in 1997. Delaware and Florida are the only state park systems to win the award more than once.

“To be awarded the National Gold Medal is a testament to the dedication of the Division of Parks and Recreation and our state’s natural and cultural resources,” said Governor Carney. “Delaware State Parks provide refuge for millions of Delawareans and visitors each year, and were critical to the public’s mental and physical health as we navigated the COVID-19 pandemic. Congratulations to the Division on this well-deserved national honor.”

“Our entire state is incredibly proud of this significant national recognition of Delaware’s first class park system,” Secretary Garvin said. “I get the opportunity to see daily that the passion, dedication and commitment of the Division of Parks and Recreation team (staff, volunteers and partners) that is second to none in stewardship of our award-winning state parks.”

This year is also the 70th anniversary of Delaware State Parks. The division does not know the exact factors that set Delaware apart in the competition, but believes multiple items played into being selected as the 2021 Gold Medal state park system. Under the leadership of Director Ray Bivens, the Delaware State Parks system has seen tremendous growth and broken records in numerous areas, including camping/cabin stays, volunteer hours, park attendance and revenue. Bivens, named Delaware’s eighth state park director in 2013, received the 2021 National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD) Conference Distinguished Service Award Sept. 10 during the NASPD’s annual conference. Other distinctions that undoubtedly contributed to the Gold Medal recognition include:

  • Delaware State Parks welcomes more than 6 million guests annually and has seen record breaking growth during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, campground nights booked grew by 57% from 70,880 nights in 2012 to 111,376 nights in 2020.
  • The division is committed to innovation, including creative public private partnerships such as the Fort Miles Museum, Big Chill Beach Club and the establishment of Auburn Valley State Park from one of the most contaminated and flood-prone sites in the state.
  • The division’s impact on the economy includes support for more than 6,000 jobs through concessionaire and partnership agreements.
  • The economic impact of visitors to the state includes $319 million in spending generated from Cape Henlopen, Killens Pond, Lums Pond, Delaware Seashore and Trap Pond state park campgrounds.
  • Despite being 20 times smaller than any other finalist state, Delaware boasts a diverse and robust state park system featuring ocean parks like Fenwick, Delaware Seashore and Cape Henlopen, urban parks such as Wilmington, Alapocas and Bellevue, historic parks such as Fort Delaware and First State Heritage Park and a variety of other amenities including Deerfield and Garrison’s Lake golf courses, Brandywine Zoo, Killens Water Park and the Indian River Marina.

“Our 2021 Gold Medal recipients show a remarkable resilience as well concern for their constituents and staff in continuing to provide critical services during this COVID pandemic,” said AAPRA Executive Director Jane H. Adams. “The pandemic has shed light on the essential services provided by park and recreation agencies.”

Agencies are judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of community members, staff members and elected officials. The National Gold Medal Awards program, sponsored by Musco Lighting, LLC, honors communities in the United States that demonstrate excellence in parks and recreation through long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development and agency recognition.

The award is given in coordination by the AAPRA with the National Recreation and Park Association. To learn more about the Gold Medal Awards, visit www.aapra.org.

Additional photos are available for download and publication at this link.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation oversees more than 26,000 acres in 17 state parks and the Brandywine Zoo. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Shauna McVey, shauna.mcvey@delaware.gov or Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov.

###


DNREC Announces Photo Contest Winners

“Winter Hike at Dusk Near the Marsh” by James Blackstock

Contest Highlights Woodland Beach Wildlife Area

From May through mid-August, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control invited photographers and nature lovers to submit their best photographs taken on the Tony Florio Woodland Beach Wildlife Area and the adjoining Aquatic Resources Education Center (AREC) near Smyrna. Now the results are in for this new annual contest.

Winter beach
“Winter Tide” by Aurelia Thomas
(Under 13)

To increase public awareness of the natural wonders of AREC and the surrounding wildlife area, children and adults were encouraged to visit the area to take and submit photographs of aquatic life, birds and other wildlife, scenic landscapes, and people enjoying the outdoors. The peaceful, scenic area is a destination along the Delaware Bayshore Byway that features two fishing ponds, trails, and a raised boardwalk with vistas across the tidal salt marsh to Delaware Bay.

Entries were accepted in three categories: birds, nature and people enjoying nature; and in three age groups: children under age 13, teens ages 13 to 18 and adults age 19 and older.

The 2021 winners are:

Children under age 13:
Nature — “Winter Tide” by Aurelia Thomas
Birds — “Portrait of a Blue Grosbeak” by Wyatt Humphreys

Teens ages 13 to 18:
Nature — “Rain Drops on Leaf” by Bella McDannell

Adults 19 and older:
Birds — “Ringed-neck Duck” by Sherry Abbott
Enjoying Nature — “A Different Perspective” by David S. Vallee
Nature — “Winter Hike at Dusk Near the Marsh” by James Blackstock

Winning photos are posted on the DNREC website and featured in DNREC’s Outdoor Delaware online magazine, de.gov/outdoorde. Judging was 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 included DNREC educators at the Aquatic Resources Education Center.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities, and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 65,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

###


Youth Fishing Tournament Results Announced

Young anglers statewide submitted their biggest catches for the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s 35th annual Youth Fishing Tournament, held June 5 at more than 30 public freshwater fishing ponds as a fish-on-your-own, semi-virtual event for children ages four through 15.

Tournament participants measured and submitted the length of their catches through the Fishing Chaos app to compete for the title of overall state winner with the biggest fish. The title went to Kane Messina of Millsboro, who caught a bass measuring 21 inches long. Big fish results also included:

  • Largest largemouth bass:
    • First place: 21 inches long, Kane Messina, Millsboro
    • Second place: 16.5 inches long, Evie Whaley, Bridgeville
    • Third place: 16.25 inches long, Cohen Betts, Milton
  • Largest chain pickerel: first place, 17.5 inches long, Wesley Whitt, Seaford
  • Largest yellow perch:
    • First place: 11 inches long, John Timmons, Georgetown
    • Second place: 7 inches long, Michael Hopkins, New Castle
    • Third place: 5.75 inches long, Austin Alderman, Middletown
  • Largest sunfish:
    • First place: 9.25 inches long, Brinley Douglas, Middletown
    • Second place: 9 inches, Brielle Douglas, Middletown
    • Third place, tie: 8 inches long, Cole Smith, Magnolia; John Timmons, Georgetown; and Colton Wegner, Cave Creek, Ariz.
  • Largest catfish: first place, 8 inches long, Michael Hopkins, New Castle

Winners will each receive a trophy in the near future.

The tournament was established by the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife and is sponsored by the Delaware Natural Resources Police to introduce youth to the sport of fishing and to teach the catch-and-release approach to conservation, which is encouraged for all participants.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities, and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 65,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

###