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Press Release

2006 State-Fish Art Contest Announced

January 11, 2006

The Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division and Wildlife Forever announce the Eighth Annual State-Fish Art Contest for Alabama students. The nationwide contest encourages young artists to draw and learn about their state fish.

The State-Fish Art Contest is part of a conservation education program that sparks the imagination of students, while providing valuable lessons about fish and the importance of conserving the nation’s aquatic resources. According to Wildlife Forever’s President and CEO Douglas H. Grann, “Wildlife Forever strongly believes conservation education will ultimately determine the future of our fish and wildlife heritage.  The State-Fish Art Contest is a fun and innovative way to introduce America's youth to the wonders of our natural world.”

Alabama’s 2005 winners include the “Best of Show” national winner, homeschooler Connery Carson of Birmingham.  Other 2005 winners were Alexis Sylvester, Mobile, (grades 4-6) and David Duggan, Pinson, (grades 7-9). The artwork for the most recent Alabama winners are shown at www.outdooralabama.com under the largemouth bass page. The Alabama winners for 2004 were Phillip Estes, Albertville (grades 4-6), Ashley Anderson, Enterprise (grades 7-9), and Megan Graves, Hartselle (grades 10-12). The Alabama winners for 2003 were Kalee Reid, Morris (grades 4-6), Megan Graves (grades 7-9), and Chad Griffith, Fairhope (grades 10-12). Alabama winners during 2002 were Gunnar Pierce of Mobile, Megan Graves, and Joseph Graves of Hartselle..

To enter, young artists create an illustration of their state fish and include a written composition on its behavior, habitat, and conservation. Alabama is unique in that it has two state fish. Largemouth bass is the Alabama state freshwater fish, and the fighting tarpon is the state saltwater fish.

The contest is open to all students in grades 4 through 12.  Entries are separated into three grade categories: 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12.  Winning contestants from every state are honored in each category. All contest winners will receive a gift certificate for art supplies from Cheap Joe's Art Stuff and other prizes. Entries must be postmarked by March 31, 2006. Winners will be announced on Earth Day, April 22, 2006.

Winning designs will also be featured on the official State-Fish Art Web site, www.statefishart.com, and the Web site for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, www.outdooralabama.com.  An outstanding piece of artwork in each grade category will be awarded the top honor as "Best in Show" for 2006. Last year’s National Best of Show winner was Connery Carson of Birmingham, Alabama.  One “art-gallery caliber” entry will win the 2006 Art of Conservation Stamp Award and become the 2006 release of Wildlife Forever’s conservation stamp program. Sales of Wildlife Forever's Art of ConservationTM stamps have funded conservation education and fishery projects across America.

State winners of the 2006 State-Fish Art Contest will be recognized at the Mall of America in Minnesota for their outstanding artwork of their state-fish.  A massive art display will feature all the winning artwork from across the Country; and an award ceremony on July 29, 2006, will recognize the talented young artists.

“The future of our wildlife heritage depends on conservation education, and the Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest provides important lessons in a way that truly resonates with young people.  We can't wait to see the students' artwork on display at Mall of America and on the Metrodome's big screen,” said Grann.

For contest information or to download a State-Fish Art Lesson Plan and Entry Form, visit the State-Fish Art Web Site at www.statefishart.com, or call toll-free 1-877-FISHART (347-4278). Information about largemouth bass may be obtained by contacting the Fisheries Section of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources at 334-242-3471, or viewing information at www.outdooralabama.com.

Wildlife Forever is a multi-species, non-profit conservation organization that works to preserve America's wildlife heritage through conservation education, preservation of habitat and scientific management of fish and wildlife species.  Working at the grassroots level, Wildlife Forever has funded conservation projects in all 50 states, committing millions of dollars to “on the ground” conservation efforts.  Learn more at www.wildlifeforever.org.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police; Marine Resources; State Parks; State Lands; and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.

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