Thursday, September 30, 2010

Writing Contest for Southern Maryalnd

Open to all county residents, $500 First Prize

The Potomac River Association (PRA) in conjunction with the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) at St. Mary's College of Maryland is pleased to hold the first annual competition for the Jansson Prize for Environmental Writing. Dedicated to the memory of Holger, Mary and Eric Jansson and their contributions to the betterment of the environment and culture of St. Mary's County, the prize will be awarded each year to the best essay on important topics related to the environment and environmental affairs.

The 2010 topic asks for essays reflecting on the relationship between property rights and Maryland's critical areas regulations. Private property rights can be examined from a number of perspectives-cultural, legal, historical and political. Discourse and conflict over the limits of public interest and private ownership are at the center of modern debates about the proper interaction of government and markets. Environmental protection is one of the justifications used to limit the rights of individual property owners. For instance in current law, Maryland's Critical Areas Regulations extends control over private property at the water's edge to protect the public interest in preserving the Chesapeake.

Compose an essay that places private property rights in the context of environmental regulations such as Maryland's Critical Areas Regulations. Essays can be written from philosophical, legal, historical or cultural perspectives. Prizes will be awarded to essays that creatively illuminate the relationship between modern understandings of property rights with current or new ideas about environmental regulation.

The author of the best essay will receive a first prize award of $500. One runner up will receive $150.00 award. A committee organized by The Potomac River Association and The Center for the Study of Democracy will judge all entries.


1.All residents of Calvert, Charles, St. Mary's or Anne Arundel Counties are eligible to enter OR any student enrolled full-time in an accredited high school or post-secondary institution within one of those counties. Proof of residency or matriculation must be submitted upon request.

2. No member of the PRA Board of Directors or officers of CDS or their relatives by blood or marriage are eligible to win the contest

3.Submissions become the property of PRA and CSD. This includes PRA and CSD's right to use, reproduce, or distribute the essay in whole or part. Authorship will be acknowledged in any subsequent use.

4. By submitting an entry, the author warrants that the work is original and does not violate the intellectual property rights of any other person or entity. Quoted or excerpted material the length of a sentence or more must be identified as such. By submitting an entry the author warrants that the work has not previously been published or submitted for publication.

5.By submitting an entry, the author grants permission to PRA and CSD to use her or his name for publicity purposes. By submitting an entry the author grants permission to PRA and CSD to reproduce the work in any form.

6.The essay should have two title pages. The first title page should contain the author's name and contact information in addition to the title. The second title page should have the title only. Information regarding the author's identity or affiliation must not appear within the body of the submission itself.

7. Submissions must be in English and length should be between 2,000 and 5,500 words. Pages must be numbered.

8.Entries must be postmarked by December 1, 2010. Two copies of the essay must be submitted as hard copy mailed to this address:

Potomac River Association
attn: Essays
P.O. Box 76
Valley Lee, Maryland 20692

More information: Information on Maryland's Critical Areas Regulation can be found at For questions related to the essay contest contact Potomac River Association at: or call 301-769-3840.

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