Philippe Cousteau’s EarthEcho International Announces the Ten Finalist Student Teams Tackling Species Decline in the 2021 OurEcho Challenge
Washington, DC (May 24, 2020) EarthEcho International, the global nonprofit dedicated to building a youth movement to protect and restore our ocean planet, today announced the ten middle school teams advancing to the finals of the OurEcho Challenge, a science competition designed to engage young problem solvers in understanding, valuing and protecting the diversity of species essential to life. The competition is made possible through the support of Aramco Americas.
“From super algae to plastic pollution-hunting drones, the final ten 2021 OurEchoChallenge teams are both inspiring in their passion and dedication and impressive in their approaches to protecting local biodiversity,” saidEarthEcho International founder Philippe Cousteau, Jr. “We at EarthEcho are excited to see the final presentations of these emerging environmental leaders.”
The OurEcho Challenge equips U.S. middle school students, guided by an educator or mentor, to tackle the decline in biodiversity by identifying threats and proposing solutions to affect natural resources at a community level. These finalist teams prepare and share final presentations to a panel of judges and the public virtually on June 11, 2021 at 12:00 PM (ET) during EarthEcho’s Facebook Live event. The top three teams will be awarded grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 to turn their projects into reality. Follow the link to meet the teams.
Selected from applicants nationwide, the final ten teams represent a range of issues and potential solutions:
· Team Saving a Species - The Atala Butterfly Project; Sunrise, FL
· Team Baby Estuary; Rowlett Middle Academy; Bradenton,FL
· Team Algae Biofiltration; Windermere Preparatory School; Windermere, FL
· Team Habitat Hotels; Bednarcik Junior High School; Aurora, IL
· Team Springtails; Door55School; Medford, MA
· Team Environmental Droners; Love a Sea Turtle; Greenville, NC
· Team Wilt Warriors; Hurlee Biodiversity; Syosset, NY
· Team Stop the Noise and Save the Owls; Montessori Children’s House; Redmond, WA
· Team Fish Friendly Shorelines; Montessori Children’s House; Redmond, WA
· Team Himalayan Blackberry Squad; Montessori Children’s House; Redmond, WA
For more information about the teams and their projects, please go to https://www.earthecho.org/ourecho-challenge.
The Importance ofBiodiversity
Native animal and plant species are declining at an alarming rate. The future of our planet and humankind depends on healthy ecosystems with thriving and diverse wildlife populations. Recent studies underscore the need for innovative solutions and action now:
· 1 million animal and plant species are at risk of extinction.
· 75% of the land environment and some 66% of the marine environment have been “significantly altered by human actions.”
· Up to $577 billion in annual global crops are at risk from pollinator loss.
· Since 1970, 50%of the world’s wildlife has vanished, including 3 billion birds in North America alone.
*Sources: 2019 United Nations Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Global Assessment, 2016 World Wildlife Fund Living Planet Report, and 2019 AAAS report led by Cornell Lab of Ornithology)
For more information and updates about the OurEcho Challenge, visit www.OurEchoChallenge.org or follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/earthecho Twitter: www.twitter.com/earthecho and Instagram: www.instagram.com/earthecho/.
For more information about EarthEcho International, visit www.earthecho.org.
For more information about program sponsor Aramco Americas, visit https://americas.aramco.com/.