The Judging for the 2023 Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest for Maryland students took place on Saturday, February 18, 2023, at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.

2023 Contest Results

Congratulations to 2023 "Best of Show" winner Eaton Ekarintaragun of Chesapeake Beach, Maryland! Mr. Ekarintaragun entitled his oil rendering of a northern shoveler drake "An Evening in the Shallows" (seen above). Mr. Ekarintaragun is 16 years old and receives instruction from his father, Pitoon Ekarintaragun.

See below for all 2023 contest results! There were 144 entries to this year's contest. We thank all the students who participated in the Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest, and congratulate all our winners!

Non-placing artwork from each age group is eligible for the "Young Artist Award." This artwork was displayed at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center from February 24 to March 9, and refuge visitors were allowed to vote for their favorite pieces of non-placing artwork. The voted top 10 from each age group (or half if the entries number less than 20) will receive the "Young Artist Award." This year, there are 3 awarded in Group 1, 10 in Group 2, and 10 in Group 3. Winners of this award can be found below.

About the Junior Duck Stamp Program in Maryland

Hundreds of Maryland students participate each year in the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program. Introducing the Junior Duck Stamp curriculum into the classroom teaches students about waterfowl, wetland ecology, and wildlife conservation while meeting national education outcomes for science, English, and art. The students are then encouraged to research a waterfowl species and depict it in an artistic media. Entries from Maryland students in grades K-12 from public, private, and home schools, are submitted each year to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).  

The four grade categories are K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. Artwork is judged in its category by a panel of local wildlife and art experts. Each grade category receives 3 first place, 3 second place, 3 third place, and 16 honorable mentions. The Best of Show for Maryland is chosen from the first place winners. Maryland's Best of Show is sent to compete at the national level, which is typically held in April. The winning entry in the federal competition is made into the Federal Junior Duck Stamp. Each entrant receives a certificate of participation or placement. Maryland's winners are awarded ribbons and modest prizes at an awards ceremony typically held at the National Wildlife Visitor Center. The Best of Show, First, Second, and Third Place winning artwork will be on display at various locations in Maryland through February.

To find out more about this national program, visit the Federal Junior Duck Stamp page.  This site includes an overview of the program, images of winning art, hints for teachers, and links to fact sheets, contest rules, and entry forms. To purchase Federal Junior Duck Stamps call the AMPLEX Corporation at (800) 852-4897, or pick one up at a participating USFWS location. Visit the Federal Duck Stamp website to find out how this pioneering program has saved thousands of acres of waterfowl habitat, as well as created one of the premier wildlife art contests in the country!

Please note this information for 2024:

Entries in the Maryland contest must be postmarked by February 1, 2024.
Entries must be sent to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge at the following address: 
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, 2145 Key Wallace Drive, Cambridge, MD, 21613, Attn: Junior Duck Stamp Contest

If you have questions about the Junior Duck Stamp program in Maryland, please contact Ranger Thomas Miller by using this link, or call 410-221-8156.

Junior Duck Stamp 2023 Maryland Placing Artwork

Table of placing artwork for the 2023 Maryland entries to the Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest.

Junior Duck Stamp 2023 Maryland Placing Conservation Message

Table of placing "Conservation Messages," part of the 2023 Maryland entries to the Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest.

Junior Duck Stamp 2023 Maryland "Young Artist Award"

Winners of the 2023 "Young Artist Award." These awards from the non-placing Junior Duck Stamp entries were chosen by vote by visitors to Blackwater NWR.