EPA Rachel Carson Sense of Wonder Contest

Sense of “Water” Contest

2012 is the 40th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act, and this year’s Sense of Wonder contest will focus on water. To honor this anniversary, the contest has been renamed the Sense of Water Contest for 2012. The deadline for entries is June 1, 2012.


What’s the Contest About?

The U.S. EPA, Generations United, the Dance Exchange, Rachel Carson Council, Inc., and the National Center for Creative Aging announce a poetry, essay, photo and dance contest. Entries must be from a team of two or more persons—a young person and an older person.

We would like your team to share your love for water through a creative project that captures water around us. Capture what you hear, see, feel and taste as you explore and study water. Contestants will work across generations to share through one of these distinct mediums their own interactions with and reflections about the sense of water.

Dance video entries are not limited to the moving body. You can use live performers and/ or capture movement and change visible in nature: birds landing, trees shaking in a storm, a river flowing…

Experienced and first time dancers and video makers are encouraged to participate.

Let Rachel Carson’s words inspire you. In 1951 Rachel Carson published her second book, The Sea Around Us. The New York Times Book Review wrote:

“Each of Miss Carson’s chapters is worth sampling and savoring, and her book adds up to enjoyment that should not be passed by. Every person who reads it will look on the sea with new pleasure.”

Photo of fish under the sea.

Beautifully written, in an accessible, nonscientific style, Carson describes the natural wonders of the sea. In the chapter The Birth of an Island, she sums up the uniqueness and irreplaceability of the species …”

“In a reasonable world men would have treated these islands as precious possessions, as natural museums filled with beautiful and curious works of creation, valuable beyond price because nowhere in the world are they duplicated.”

She paints with words, illustrating and capturing the Earth’s evolution including the formation of islands, mountains and oceans. She brings into focus the creatures of the sea that live near the surface of the sea and then dives deeper into the dark depths of the bottom of the sea.

The Sea Around Us went to the top of the non-fiction best seller list in the United States, won the National Book Award for Non-Fiction, and was selected for the Book of the Month Club. It was also translated into thirty-three languages.

For more information, please visit the EPA’s website.

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.


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