May 13, 2013
DEEP Announces Winner of 2014 Connecticut Duck Stamp Art Contest
In an extremely close contest, a panel of judges recently selected wildlife artist John Brennanís depiction of three hooded mergansers as the winner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protectionís (DEEP) 2013-14 Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation (Duck) Stamp Art Contest. Mr. Brennanís painting was chosen out of 20 entries submitted by artists from across the country, including five from Connecticut. Paintings were judged in five categories: originality, artistic composition, anatomical correctness, general rendering, and suitability for reproduction. Mr. Brennanís painting will be the image for the 2014 Connecticut Duck Stamp. A pair of hooded mergansers painted by Gerald Putt was voted a very close second; a painting of a flying Canada goose by Phil Brevick placed third. The top three paintings will be on display through the end of August 2013 at the DEEP Wildlife Divisionís Sessions Woods Conservation Education Center in Burlington. Sessions Woods is located at 341 Milford Street in Burlington, and is open to the public on Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The Connecticut Duck Stamp Program was initiated in the early 1990s when concerned sportsmen worked with DEEP to develop legislation that would generate revenue for wetland conservation. Modeled after the federal Duck Stamp Program, Connecticutís program requires the purchase of a state Duck Stamp, along with a hunting license, to legally hunt waterfowl. By state law, funds generated from the sale of Duck Stamps can only be used for the development, management, preservation, conservation, acquisition, purchase, and maintenance of waterfowl habitat and wetlands, as well as the purchase and acquisition of recreational rights or interests relating to migratory birds.
ďThe Duck Stamp Program is a great example of how the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation works Ė users of the resource pay into funds whose monies are solely dedicated to conservation,Ē said Rick Jacobson, DEEP Wildlife Division Director. The Connecticut Duck Stamp fund is a vital source of money for many of the wetland projects that are conducted in our state. Federal aid dollars from the hunter-funded Pittman-Robertson Program can also be used for wetland conservation.
The Duck Stamp Program has generated over $1,200,000 for the enhancement of wetland and associated upland habitats, as well as garnered additional monies for Connecticut through matching grants from federal conservation initiatives. By combining Duck Stamp funds with these additional monies, over $4 million dollars have been available to complete wildlife conservation projects. Thus, Connecticut has received a 4:1 return on Duck Stamp monies. Over 3,145 acres of wetlands in the state have been restored or enhanced using Duck Stamp funds, mostly on state-owned wildlife management areas. The funds also have been used to purchase 75 acres of critical wildlife habitat and conduct habitat projects at over 50 sites statewide. These efforts have benefitted many of the approximately 274 birds, fish, amphibians, and reptiles of our state that rely upon clean, healthy wetlands.
Hunters are not the only ones who can purchase Connecticut Duck Stamps. Anyone who wishes to support wetland conservation and restoration in our state should buy a Duck Stamp. Stamps can be purchased for $13 each wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold: participating town clerks, participating retail agents, DEEP License and Revenue (79 Elm Street in Hartford), and through the online Sportsmenís Licensing System (www.ct.gov/deep/sportsmenlicensing
). Upon request, stamps can be sent through the mail. To learn more about the Connecticut Duck Stamp and the Art Contest, go to www.ct.gov/deep/ctduckstamp
Do your part for conservation. Buy a duck stamp and contribute to habitat protection and restoration.