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Winners Announced in DNREC’s Haiku Poetry Contest

A lighthouse situated offshore in Delaware.

Poets Celebrate Ocean Month By Describing ‘What I Love About the Ocean’

Scott Walls of Greenwood earned first place in the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Ocean Month haiku poetry contest in the adult division.

Spencer Rapson of Bear earned first place in the youth division.

June is Ocean Month and today is World Ocean Day. To highlight the importance of preserving and protecting our ocean, DNREC’s Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy partnered with libraries in each of the counties and challenged Delawareans to create a haiku highlighting “What I Love About the Ocean.”

A combined 56 entries were received in the adult (ages 19 and above) and youth (ages 5 through 18) categories.

“The range of expression captured in the entries demonstrates the many ways that Delawareans connect to the ocean, and highlights why it is so important to protect and preserve this valuable resource,” said Kristi Lieske, Ocean Planner in DNREC’s Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy.

Selected poems will be displayed in the following participating libraries throughout the state during Ocean Month in June:

  • Route 9 Library and Innovation Center
  • Appoquinimink Library
  • Dover Public Library
  • Georgetown Public Library
  • Lewes Public Library

Winning haikus will also be displayed at the Delaware State Fair.

Winners in the adult category and their haiku were:

First place: Scott Walls, Greenwood

Whale carcass plunges

Boon to the abyssal plain

Blooming reef of bones

Second place: Jo-Ann Baca, Lewes

Sparkling, spraying waves

sprinkle wingspread gulls above

kissing sand and sky

Third place: Diana Hay, Milton

Pirates buried gold

Where I now search for sea glass:

Treasure in the sand

Winners in the youth category and their haiku were:

First place: Spencer Rapson, Bear

Dark forest of kelp

Life is hidden all around

A shadow swims by

Second place: Anwesha Kumari, Bear

Pristine clear waters,

Rise idyllic, senseful peace;

Thrash mercilessly

Third place: Theodore Rapson, Bear

A fin breaks the waves

Dolphins jump out of water

Diving back to dark

The winning poem and poet in each age group category will be featured in an Outdoor Delaware online article. Additionally, each 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winner will receive a DNREC prize pack.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy uses science, education, policy development and incentives to address Delaware’s climate, energy and coastal challenges. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly known as Twitter) or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Michael Globetti, or Jim Lee,


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