Delta Waterfowl Congratulates Emily Lian on 2024 Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest Win

The 17-year-old Oregon artist’s oil painting of a king eider reigned supreme among a field of 56 submissions

First place in the 2024 National Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest was Emily Lian's oil painting of a King Eider© USFWS
First place in the 2024 National Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest was Emily Lian’s oil painting of a King Eider© USFWS

Emily Lian’s oil painting of a king eider took home first prize at the National Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest, held in Falls Church, Virginia. A panel of five judges chose the entry of the talented 17-year-old from Oregon as the winner among 56 young artists’ submissions from across the nation. Funds raised from sales of the $5 collectible stamp are used to educate and engage the next generation of conservationists.

The contest 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 winning work of art in the Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest, the top entry is featured on that year’s Junior Duck Stamp, proceeds from which help to fund conservation-based educational programs and activities for the nation’s youth.

“This is always such an exciting day and one of my favorite events every year!” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service director Martha Williams. “Thousands of students across the country participate in this program, and it all culminates with this contest showcasing the result of students exploring their natural world through science, art, and writing, and sharing their gifts with all of us.”

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

An additional contest—the Junior Duck Stamp Conservation Message Contest—encourages student expression surrounding wildlife and wetlands through words. 16-year-old Kaitlin Garant from Nevada was awarded first prize with the message: “Conservation is our responsibility, a reflection of our past, present, and future.”

In 2024, more than 15,000 students from around the nation submitted entries to the Junior Duck Stamp Contests.

The first day of sale for the 2024-2025 Federal Duck Stamp and Junior Duck Stamp is planned for June 28, 2024. Find more information here.—Christy Sweigart