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DEEP announces Duck Stamp Art contest winners

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First place
On May 11, 2012, a panel of judges selected the winning artwork for the inaugural Connecticut Duck Stamp Art Contest, sponsored by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). Of the 19 paintings submitted by artists from Connecticut and across the country, wildlife artist Richard Clifton’s depiction of three wood ducks received the highest score from the judges. The paintings were judged in five general categories: originality, artistic composition, anatomical correctness, general rendering, and suitability for reproduction.

The winning artwork will be featured on the 2013 Connecticut Duck Stamp. Mr. Clifton is a prior winner of the Federal Duck Stamp art contest, one of the most coveted and prestigious art contests in the world. A pair of canvasbacks painted by Guy Cittenden was voted a very close second and third place was given to a painting of a pair of redheads by Wes Dewey. All three paintings are currently on display at the DEEP Wildlife Division’s Sessions Woods Conservation Education Center in Burlington. The Education Center is located at 341 Milford Street (Route 69), Burlington, and is open to the public on Mondays through Fridays, from 8:30 AM-4:00 PM (860-675-8130).

Second place
The Connecticut Migratory Bird Conservation (Duck) Stamp Program was initiated in the early 1990s when concerned sportsmen worked with the DEEP to develop legislation that would generate revenue for wetland conservation. Modeled after the federal Duck Stamp Program, the Connecticut program requires the purchase of a state Duck Stamp, along with a hunting license, to hunt waterfowl in the state. 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.

“The Duck Stamp Program is a great example of how conservation works -- concerned citizens paying into a program that was formed to protect and enhance vital habitat,” said Rick Jacobson, Director of the DEEP Wildlife Division. “Over 3,000 acres of critical wetlands have been protected using Duck Stamp funds. These wetlands benefit not only waterfowl, but also a multitude of other wildlife species, like herons, egrets, fish, and amphibians.”

Third place
The Duck Stamp Program has generated over $1,200,000 for the enhancement of wetland and associated upland habitats in our state, 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.

Hunters are not the only ones who purchase Connecticut Duck Stamps. Anyone who wishes to support wetland conservation and restoration in our state is encouraged to do so. 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 Sportsmen’s 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 inaugural Art Contest, go to www.ct.gov/deep/ctduckstamp.

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