17th Annual Water Essay Contest Winners Honored at State Capitol

(Atlanta, December 12, 2018) – The Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District (Metro Water District) announced the winners of its annual water essay contest during an awards ceremony held at the Georgia state Capitol today.

The grand prize essay was written by Bryce Jones, a seventh-grader from Woodstock Middle School in Cherokee County, who received a $500 prize. Nora Glass, a sixth-grader from Kittredge Magnet School in DeKalb County, was named the district-wide runner-up.

The Metro Water District also honored winners from the city of Atlanta and the 12 other counties. Each winner and the runner-up received a $100 prize.

Essay Topic – Stormwater Pollution
This year, middle school students were asked to write a 300-500 word essay on the topic: What is stormwater pollution? What impact does it have on the health of our rivers, lakes, and streams, and what can you do to prevent it?

Mr. Jones’ winning essay was called “I Am Stormwater Pollution.” In it, he wrote, “I do not mean to cause harm, but when you throw down your trash, salt, oil, and fertilizers, I cannot help but to take it to where I flow. I cannot help what I do, but you can. You can help clean me up and cleanse me of pollution.”

Miss Glass wrote about potential solutions to stormwater pollution this way: “[M]aybe a good start would be to build more parks and less pavement. Any person can help contribute by watching their use of materials that are bad for waterways.”

This is the 17th year the Metro Water District has sponsored the annual essay contest. The outreach activity has challenged thousands of middle school students to think critically about conservation and protection of water resources in metro Atlanta. More than 1,200 students participated this year.

“We are proud of each and every one of the 1,200 students who participated in our 17th annual contest,” said North Water District Chairman Charlotte Nash. “Their essays demonstrate a solid understanding of why water quality protection is absolutely critical to our region, while offering creative tips on how to be good stewards of our water resources. These winners represent the best-of-the-best in our region’s young environmental leaders.”

The annual essay contest is one of many educational outreach initiatives conducted by the Metro Water District to raise awareness about conservation efforts and the importance of water quality preservation in the Atlanta region. Visit My Drop Counts for tips on what you can do to conserve water and the Clean Water Campaign to learn how you can help prevent stormwater pollution.


2018 Essay Contest Winners

City of Atlanta – Mary Ellen Reagin, Mount Vernon Presbyterian School

Cherokee County – Bryce Jones, Woodstock Middle School

Clayton County – Aniyah Patterson, Pointe South Middle School

Cobb County – Rebekah Ives, Simpson Middle School

Coweta County – Samuel Higgins, Evans Middle School

DeKalb County – Nora Glass, Kittredge Magnet School

Douglas County – Sarah Leigh, Brighten Academy

Fayette County – Tito Alofe, Rising Starr Middle School

Forsyth County – Matthew Wortel, South Forsyth Middle School

Fulton County – Afsheen Fatima, Amana Academy

Gwinnett County – Kayla Mehok, Hull Middle School

Hall County – Caroline Gottsman, Lakeview Academy

Henry County – Charlotte Gilreath, Strong Rock Christian School

Rockdale County – RubyJean Ruhani, Edwards Middle School


About the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District (Metro Water District)
The Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District is dedicated to developing comprehensive regional and watershed-specific water resources plans to be implemented by local governments in the 15-county metro Atlanta region, which includes Bartow, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Paulding and Rockdale counties. These plans conserve public water supplies, protect water quality and recreational value of the waters and minimize potential adverse impacts of development on waters in and downstream of the region. Learn more at