NESS Announces Winners of Statewide Drawing Contest

NESS Recognizes Young Artists from Across CT

Stonington, CT – New England Science & Sailing Foundation (NESS) announced this year’s winning artists for the statewide calendar drawing contest entitled “Long Island Sound and Its Watershed: What It Means to Me.” The annual drawing contest is open to all Connecticut students currently in Grades K-6. Ilana Gilbert of the Cloonan Middle School in Stamford was named the overall winner. Her artwork will be featured on the cover of next year’s calendar. 
NESS’s President and CEO Spike Lobdell commented, “This year’s contest involved over 2,500 Connecticut students whose inspiring artwork depicted the importance of preserving Long Island Sound. Many thanks to the students as well as their teachers and parents who provided support in this environmental stewardship project.” 
A panel of judges chose two first place and two honorable mention winners from each grade as this year’s award recipients. The students will be honored at an award ceremony in Hartford later this month. The artwork will also be part of a calendar in 2020.

Click here for list of winning students.

NESS, a nationally-recognized and award-winning nonprofit ocean adventure education organization, provides students of all ages with year-round ocean adventure programming that includes marine science, sailing, and water sports. NESS scholastic programs support teachers’ STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) curricula with a unique combination of on-the-water and in-the-classroom lessons intended to build confidence, teamwork, and leadership skills. In 2018, NESS became the first school partner program to be accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. 
The annual “Long Island Sound & Its Watershed” calendar drawing contest is funded by a grant from the Dominion Foundation and was previously overseen by the Long Island Sound Foundation. For more information about the drawing contest, please visit

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About NESS:
The New England Science & Sailing Foundation, Inc. (NESS), is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) ocean adventure education organization that engages students in experiential learning to build confidence, teamwork, and leadership skills. Marine sciences, adventure sports, powerboating, and sailing are platforms for inquiry-based learning, personal discovery, teaching respect and responsibility for the sea, and creating connections with the community. NESS operates year-round with families, schools, and organizations to provide high-quality programs that blend an innovative curriculum with exciting ocean adventure activities. For more information, visit