(ATLANTA — Thursday, December 17, 2015) — The Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District (Metro Water District) announced the winners of its annual water essay contest during an awards ceremony held at the Georgia state Capitol yesterday.

The first-place essay was written by Colton Woodring, a seventh-grader from North Gwinnett Middle School, who received a $400 prize. Jolee Northrop, a sixth-grader from Hightower Middle School in Cobb County, was named the district-wide runner-up.

The Metro Water District also honored winners from the city of Atlanta and the 15 counties that comprise the Metro Water District. Each winner received a $100 prize.
This is the 14th year the Metro Water District has sponsored the annual water essay contest. The outreach activity has challenged thousands of middle school students to think about conservation and protection of water resources in metro Atlanta.

This year’s contest focused on stormwater pollution, asking “Why is stormwater pollution a problem, and what can you do to prevent it?” Nearly 2,000 students from across the region submitted essays in response.

“Choosing this year’s winners was challenging, as all the essays were so inspired,” said Kostoula Vallianos, principal education program specialist with the Metro Water District. “Young people in metro Atlanta have a much better sense than previous generations of just how precious our natural resources are. They exhibit a real desire to protect our water sources.”

The essay contest is one of many initiatives conducted by the Metro Water District to raise awareness about conservation efforts and preservation of water quality in metro Atlanta. Visit www.mydropcounts.org for ideas about how you can do your part to save water and www.cleanwatercampaign.com for more information about stormwater pollution and prevention.

Metro North Georgia Water Planning District’s first-place essay was written by Colton Woodring, a seventh-grader from North Gwinnett Middle School, who received a $400 prize at an awards ceremony held at the Georgia state Capitol Wednesday, Dec. 16. (Pictured from left to right: Water District Vice Chair Katie Kirkpatrick, Colton Woodring and Representative Lynn Smith, Chair of the House Natural Resources & Environment Committee.

Jolee Northrop, a sixth-grader from Hightower Middle School in Cobb County, runner-up in the Metro North Georgia Water Planning District’s 14th Annual Essay Contest, read her essay at an awards ceremony held at the Georgia state Capitol Wednesday, Dec. 16. (Also pictured from the left: Water District Vice Chair Katie Kirkpatrick and Representative Lynn Smith, Chair of the House Natural Resources & Environment Committee.)

Since its creation in 2001, the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District (Metro Water District) has implemented one of the most comprehensive regional water management plans in the country. Science, data and good stewardship guide the Metro Water District’s comprehensive approach to managing water for economic, environmental and social well-being. Working with local governments, water and wastewater utilities and stakeholders, the Metro Water District protects water quality, supply and recreational value in the region and downstream.

The 2015 water essay contest winners are:

Jurisdiction

Name

School

Grade

Atlanta

Bianca Weber

Inman Middle School

7

Bartow

Caden Wolf

South Central Middle School

6

Cherokee

Rachel Kim

Mill Creek Middle School

6

Clayton

Aaron Garrett

GP Babb Middle School

8

Cobb

Jolee Northrop

Hightower Trail Middle School

6

Coweta

Natalea Whitley

Smokey Road Middle School

7

DeKalb

Hanna Baniassad

  Henderson Middle School

8

Fayette

Nick Farinacci

JC Booth Middle School

6

Forsyth

Hyuk Lee

South Forsyth Middle School

8

Fulton

Teddy Klaas

Crabapple Middle School

6

Gwinnett

Colton Woodring

North Gwinnett Middle School

7

Hall

Ansley Brownell

Chestatee Academy Middle School

8

Henry

Ahmad Hicks

Woodland Middle School

6

Paulding

Taylor Austin

JA Dobbins Middle School

8

Rockdale

Kristin Scott

Young Americans Christian School

8