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Wisconsin's Great Waters 2021 Photo Contest and Writing Project

Winners and Submissions

The Office of Great Waters is pleased to present our 13th annual calendar, along with the winners and submissions from the 2021 Great Waters Photo Contest and Writing Project. As the calendar, photos and writings clearly show, the Great Lakes and Mississippi River are among Wisconsin's most scenic and beloved natural resources.

Thank you to all 2021 photographers and authors for sharing your talent with us!

2021-2022 Calendar

Cover of the 2021-2022 Wisconsin's Great Waters Calendar.

We hope this calendar will serve as a daily reminder of the magnificence of Wisconsin's Great Waters and how we all can help protect them. The calendar is a unique collection of photos from our 2021 photo contest, creative writings submitted by Wisconsin authors and descriptions of stewardship projects. It is typically distributed at DNR events and state parks, visitor centers and DNR regional offices throughout the state.

2021 Winning Photographs

The Office of Great Waters received more than 250 beautiful photos of Lake Michigan, Lake Superior and the Mississippi River for the 2021 contest. First and second-place photographs for each category are featured below. Winning photographs are also featured in the 2021-2022 Wisconsin's Great Waters Calendar.

People Enjoying Our Great Waters


1st Place: “Polar Dip” by Joseph Eichers. Port Washington, WI.


2nd Place: “Manitowoc Lighthouse” by Michael Henderson. Manitowoc, WI.

Honorable Mention: Matt Bourke, Julie DeLisle, Karen Gersonde, Kristine Hinrichs, Jerry Kiesow, Sue Mangan, Jon Mattrisch, Linda Olig, Mark Ponto, Rebecca Seymour

Cultural And Historical Features


1st Place: "Sunrise with Faith II Fishing Tug" by Sue Mangan. Sister Bay, WI.


2nd Place: "Breaking Dawn" by Matt Bourke. Algoma, WI.

Honorable Mention: Brendan Dowling, Joseph Eichers, Kelly L. Johnson, Jennifer Kelly, Jon Mattrisch, Linda Rappel, David Schliepp, Chris Schultz, Philip Schwarz, Mark Straub

Natural Features


1st Place: "Milky Way Giving Way to Sunrise" by Brendan Dowling. Cana Island, near Baileys Harbor, WI.


2nd Place (tie): "Sailing at Sunset" by Sue Mangan. Sister Bay, WI.


2nd Place (tie): "Red Lighthouse and Blue Skies" by David Enriquez Lopez. Sturgeon Bay, WI.

Honorable Mention: John Anderson, Nick Bahr, Celina Brault, Gary Cressey, Karen Gersonde, Robert Guschl, Michael Henderson, Wendi Huffman, Kelly L. Johnson, John Mattrisch



1st Place: "Ollie the Otter" by Julie DeLisle. Port Washington, WI.


2nd Place: "A Small Visitor," a Semipalmated Plover by Lorri Howski. Lakeshore State Park, Milwaukee, WI.

Honorable Mention: Charles Bolstad, Joseph Eichers, Kris Fritz, Nancy Gill, John Gurda, Wendi Huffman, Jerry Kiesow, Mason Morris, Marc Ponto, Linda Rappel

2021 Eligible Photo Submissions

Each category is a separate PDF file and each page corresponds to one submission.

Thank you to everyone who shared their photography talent with us this year.

2021 Writing Project Submissions

This year, we received 25 lovely poems, short stories and creative writings from Wisconsin authors. Their work appears in our 2021-2022 Wisconsin's Great Waters Calendar.

Thank you, writers, for sharing your talent with us.