NEW HANOVER COUNTY -- Each year students across the state get to participate in soil and water conservation contests.

It's an opportunity for them to compete and possibly become a winner, like Norah Martin.

"At first I was thinking about the contest like, 'Oh...I'm good at art, so I guess I'll just do the poster.' I didn't really think I was going to win anything," said Martin.

"So this year's theme is, 'We All Live In A Water Shed.' The contest runs from third to ninth grade. There's a poster contest, essay, Powerpoint, speech and a computer-generated poster contest," said Elissa Riley, education coordinator for New Hanover Soil & Water Conservation District.

Five schools in New Hanover County participated.

"Once our winners win here in the county, they move up to the area level and then if they win there, which we had a couple winners, we had our eighth grade speech and our third grade poster, they move up to the state level, as well," said Riley.

It's a unique contest helping kids understand why natural resources are important and the things they can do as an individual to conserve and protect it.

"It's a water bottle that has all of the things that can hurt the water shown on it and then the water bottle is actually a smaller image of the big image in the background. It's showing how the water that we consume is the water that comes from our water sheds, like lakes," said Martin.

"Sustainability is a huge topic. You know, we have only one planet and it's up to us to take care of it and protect it," said Riley.

"I mean if we don't start doing something about the water now, then in like 50 to 100 years, there couldn't be a natural resource," said Martin.