Prime Hook wildlife photo contest release

MILTON – Prime Hook is once again ready to host the annual Friends of Prime Hook U.S. Wildlife Refuge Nature Photography Contest. It’s been a very long year for everyone and last year’s contest was cancelled because of concerns about Covid-19.
We’re returning to normal and that means the contest is once more on the fall calendar. The deadline for entries is approaching quickly. Submissions are due by October 9 with the exhibit slated to open to the public on October 16 with an opening reception.
We regret having to cancel last year’s contest, but our first concern is always the health and safety of our volunteers, staff and the public.
We urge people to follow safety protocols as we begin our return to what we all hope will be a much healthier and happier year. Last year would have been our 17th annual competition.
The good news is that nature hasn’t paused at all. The piping plovers have had a wonderful nesting season. Ospreys happily swoop down for fish and eagles continue to be the nation’s greatest wildlife recovery story. There are shorebirds, majestic sunsets, ponds dappled with sunlight and wildflowers opening petals glistening with dew.
There is so much beautiful nature to be seen and photographed on our wondrous Delmarva Peninsula. So, please pick up that camera and start shooting.
We can’t wait to see you at the opening reception on Sunday, October 17, depending upon Covid protocols. Masks are expected to be required for those in attendance.
The contest is open to photographers of all ages and there’s always some magic in the scenes our local shutterbugs manage to capture. The contest usually draws more than 200 entries and is considered one of the best nature photography contests in the area
Photographs must be mailed or hand-delivered to the Refuge Office on or before October 9, 2021.  Submitted photographs will be judged by professional photographers during the week of October 10, 2021. Winners will be announced and awards given at a reception for the artists and the general public to be held in the Refuge Auditorium on Sunday, October 17, 2021, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., dependent upon Covid protocols.  Entries will be displayed in the auditorium until December 11, 2021. 
The public is encouraged to come view the exhibit, but please note that the refuge hours do vary as we re-open from Covid-19. If in doubt, simply call the refuge office at 302- 684-8419 to make sure the auditorium will be open. There is no admission charge.
Entries may be in any or all categories:  Delmarva Scenery, Native Birds, Other Native Wildlife (fish, insects, amphibians, mammals, reptiles, etc.), Native Plants and Flowers, The Beauty of Prime Hook,  Senior Student (age 13 to 17) and Junior Student (age 12 and under).
After the display ends, a special “People’s Choice Award” will be presented. The “People’s Choice Award” is presented to the most popular photograph in the show. Each visitor is encouraged to pick their favorite picture and cast a ballot for that photograph. Instructions on how to vote will be on display in the auditorium.
The Grand Prize is awarded to the entry judged “Best in Show.” Monetary awards will be given to the First, Second and Third place winners in each category and to the student winners. Special awards will be given to winners in “The Beauty of Prime Hook” category. If you cannot be present at the reception, your award will be mailed to you.
Special awards will be given to winners in “The Beauty of Prime Hook” category. To qualify as Delmarva Scenery, photographs must have been taken  on the Delmarva Peninsula. The Beauty of Prime Hook category encompasses only photographs taken within the boundaries of the Refuge.
Photographs of wildlife, flowers, and plants must be of native species. Native is defined as “grown, produced, or originating in a particular place or in the vicinity” or “living or growing naturally in a particular region (indigenous).” Simply, “native” should be taken to mean “not introduced by humans.” Ineligible subjects include cultivated plants and flowers and domestic animals like dogs and cows.
Each photograph must be matted in white, but unframed and should have the name, address, phone number and email of the entrant as well as the name of the photograph, location photo was taken and the category in which it is to be entered placed on the reverse side of the matte. The total dimensions (the photograph plus the matte) cannot exceed 16″x 20.” Neither the photographer’s name or any writing can be on the front of the matte.
Please use adequate adhesive. All prints must be mounted to the matte board (not inserted or taped).
There is a mounting spray available in art or photographic supply stores. Peel and stick mattes are another option. Proper mounting will preserve, protect, and better present your photograph. It will also prevent mattes and photographs from coming loose and falling during the exhibit.
The entry fee is $5 per photograph or six for $25 and must be included with the submitted photographs. Student entries are free. Please make checks payable to the Friends of Prime Hook N.W.R.
The Refuge address is 11978 Turkle Pond Road, Milton, DE. 19968 (off Broadkill Road). Refuge hours vary at this time, so please call the office at 302-684-8419 before you plan to drop off your photos to make sure a volunteer or staff person is available to accept your photos.
Entries remain on display during the duration of the exhibition and may be picked up after December 11, 2021. If you are unable to pick up your entry, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope with your submission. Entries not picked up before January 8, 2022, will become the property of the Friends of Prime Hook NWR and may be used for promotional purposes or fundraising. The Friends of Prime Hook NWR assume no liability for entries lost or damaged during the exhibit.