Delta Congratulates Mila Linyue Tong on 2023 Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest Win

A painted hooded merganser by 15-year-old Virginia artist graces the 2023-2024 Junior Duck Stamp

2023 National Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest Winner Mila Linyue Tong, 15, and judges.
Mila Linyue Tong's painting for the 2023 Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest.

Mila Linyue Tong’s painting for the 2023 Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest.

Mila Linyue Tong’s acrylic painting of a hooded merganser took home first prize at the National Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest, held at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. A panel of five judges chose the talented 15-year-old from Virginia as the winning entry among 62 young artist’s submissions from across the nation. The sale of the stamp raises funds to educate and engage the next generation of conservationists.

The program encourages students in kindergarten through grade 12 to explore their natural world. After learning about wetlands, waterfowl and wildlife conservation, they translate their learnings to art—drawing or painting a duck, goose, or swan. Like the Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest, the top entry is featured on that year’s Junior Duck Stamp, from which proceeds help to fund conservation-based educational programs and activities for the nation’s youth.

“This is one my favorite events every year!” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Martha Williams. “I’m honored to announce the winners of this prestigious contest that is actually the culmination of thousands of students exploring their natural world through science, art and writing, sharing their gift with others, and nurturing a lifelong love of nature and the outdoors.”

The Junior Duck Stamp Program began as an extension of the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp—also known as the Duck Stamp—and held the first national Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest in 1993.

An additional contest—the Junior Duck Stamp Conservation Message Contest—encourages student expression surrounding wildlife and wetlands through words. 13-year-old Grace Cao from Texas was awarded first prize with the message: “Never duck the chance of conservation.”

In 2023, a total of 15,000 students from all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and two U.S. Territories submitted entries to the Junior Duck Stamp Contests.

The first day of sale for the 2023-2024 Federal Duck Stamp and Junior Duck Stamp is planned for June 23, 2023. Find more information here.—Christy Sweigart