The “Water Is” photo contest recognizes Illinois photographers who have captured what water means for them, their communities, and the state. Hosted by the Illinois Water Resources Center and IISG, professional, amateur, and youth photographers alike are asked each year to share their best shots. Winners are selected by a panel of judges and featured in print and online outreach materials.


Professional_Paul Gierhart_Franklin Creek Early Winter

Paul Gierhart, professional division


cropped_Amateaur_Jennifer Byard_Enjoying Lake Michigan

Jennifer Byard, adult amateur division


14 and older_Melissa Corley_Rocks

Melissa Corley, youth 14 and older division


13 and under_Eireann Byard_Enjoying the shore of Lake Michigan

Eireann Byard, youth 13 and younger division


Visit the “Water Is” contest page for a link to the full list of entrants and to view the outstanding photos awarded an honorable mention in each category.

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant is a part of University of Illinois Extension and Purdue Extension.