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 near Smyrna.
The results are now in for this new annual contest.
To increase public awareness of the natural wonders of AREC and the surrounding wildlife area, children and adults were encouraged to visit, and take and submit photographs of aquatic life, birds and other wildlife, scenic landscapes, and people enjoying the outdoors. The peaceful 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 three age groups: children under age 13, teens ages 13-18 and adults age 19 and older.
The 2021 winners are: Children under age 13: Nature, “Winter Tide” by Aurelia Thomas; and Birds, “Portrait of a Blue Grosbeak” by Wyatt Humphreys; Teens ages 13-18, Nature, “Rain Drops on Leaf” by Bella McDannell; and Adults 19 and older, Birds, “Ringed-neck Duck” by Sherry Abbott; Enjoying Nature, “A Different Perspective” by David S. Vallee; and 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 to 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.