Source to Sea Cleanup 2019 Photo Contest

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2019 Winners (Click on image to see full view)

Judges’ Choice Best of the Cleanup (left): Mother Lode of Trash, by Bill Lipfert, LTK Engineering; Judges’ Choice Advocacy Award (middle): Tired of Tires, Melissa Vanek, Water is Life; People’s Choice Award (right): David Boles, River Protector, by Roberta Baker, Green River Cleanup

Our panel of judges, including professional photographers and CRC staff, awarded prizes for the Judges’ Choice Best-of-the-Cleanup Award and Judges’ Choice Advocacy Award. Our People’s Choice Award was determined by the largest number of votes from the public. Our judges also chose two Honorable Mentions, shown at right. Thank you to all of our 2019 contestants!


  1. Be the change you want to see: What are you doing to take personal responsibility around reducing waste? Photograph individuals and/or group members doing their part to clean up our rivers. Keep your photos full of action. Include the people, the trash, AND the river for greater impact.
  2. Purge the Plastics: Over 150,000 beverage containers have been removed from in and near our rivers in the 23 years that volunteers have been cleaning up the Connecticut River basin. Manufacturers, businesses, and government need to lead the way on overhauling how we make and use plastic – ban single-use plastic, use better types of plastic, make recycling easy, and keep plastic foam (aka Styrofoam) out of our rivers by using better types of dock floats. In your photos, show how much plastic waste you are finding and let’s tell our stakeholders we expect better. Post and share on Facebook, Instgram, and Twitter using  #PURGETHEPLASTIC, then read more about the plastic problem.
  3. Tired of Tires: Tires are one of the most commonly found items during CRC’s annual Cleanup. It’s time that tire manufacturers take greater responsibility for the recycling and reuse of the tires they generate. Tire manufacturers insist the tires we find are old and that dumping is no longer a problem. Help us prove dumping is STILL happening. Show us the tires you find and post on Facebook, Instgram, and Twitter using #TIREDOFTIRES, then read more about the tire problem.


  • Best-of-the-Cleanup Award: Gorgeously photographed book: The Connecticut River From the Air: An Intimate Perspective of New England’s Historic Waterway by Jerry Roberts and Photography by Tom Walsh and a CRC hat.
  • Advocacy Award: CRC stainless steel water bottle, reusable bamboo cutlery set, hand-made shopping bag made from brew bags from the People’s Pint, a $20 gift certificate to the People’s Pint, and a CRC hat.
  • People’s Choice Award: REI Trekking Poles and a CRC hat.


  • Photographers do not need to be members of CRC to participate.
  • If you are 17 years old or younger, you may participate in the Contest with the permission and assistance of your parent(s)/guardian(s).
  • Images that have won previous CRC photo contests are ineligible.
  • CRC staff, Board Members, interns, and their families are not eligible to participate.
  • Ownership and copyright of all entries remain solely with the photographer. By submitting your photos to this Contest, you grant use of your photographs for CRC publications, website, products, and other uses to promote CRC’s work. Credit given where possible.
  • Any entry will be disqualified if it is inappropriate, incomplete, fails to meet the required specifications, or for any other reason at the sole discretion of CRC. If your entry is rejected, it will be removed from the Contest website and you will be notified by email.

Honorable Mentions (click image to see full view):

Never stand up in a canoe…!
by Jeff Feldmann
Connecticut River Watershed Paddlers
(Bondi’s) Island View
Photo by Jaimye Bartak