Philippe Cousteau’s EarthEcho International Announces the U.S. and U.K. Finalist Student Teams Tackling Species Decline in the 2023 OurEcho Challenge

Philippe Cousteau’s EarthEcho International Announces the U.S. and U.K. Finalist Student Teams Tackling Species Decline in the 2023 OurEcho Challenge

Washington, DC (April 24, 2023) EarthEcho International, the global nonprofit dedicated to building a youth movement to protect and restore our ocean planet, is proud to announce the  student-led teams advancing to the finals of the OurEcho Challenge. The annual STEM competition empowers U.S. students in grades 5-9 and U.K. students attending years 6-10 to take a closer look at biodiversity in their communities. Students first identify threats to local ecosystems and then propose solutions to help preserve, protect or repair those natural resources. Annual winners receive funding and support to implement and track the success of their innovative solutions! The competition is made possible through the support of Aramco.

“The 2023 OurEcho Challenge finalist teams impressed us with their grasp of local biodiversity and a broad range of issues and potential solutions, from native bird species threatened by feral cats to restoring local peat bogs,” said EarthEcho International founder Philippe Cousteau, Jr. “These young innovators and problem solvers provide us a glimpse into the global youth movement that is reinvigorating environmental advocacy around the globe.”

The OurEcho Challenge finalist teams prepare and share final presentations to a panel of expert judges and with the public virtually on May 25th at 1:00 PM US ET (6:00 PM BST) during EarthEcho’s Facebook live stream event. The top three teams will be awarded grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 in the U.S. and £1,000 to £5,000 in the U.K. to turn their projects into reality. The public is encouraged to get involved and vote for their favorite team projects during this year’s People’s Choice Awards. RSVP and be sure to tune in on May 25th!

U.S. Teams

· Team VermiPlanet; George Washington Carver Middle School; Los Angeles, California

· Team Fungi Frogs; Innovation Center; Longmont,Colorado

· Team No Plastic, No Problem; Le Jardin Academy; Kailua, Hawai’i

· Team Pono Popoki Project; Le Jardin Academy; Kailua, Hawai’i

· Team Nocturnal Natives; West Jessamine High School; Nicholasville, Kentucky

· Team Ravenclaw; Charles DeWolf Middle School; Old Tappan, New Jersey

· Team Bash the Trash; South Carolina Connections Academy; Gilbert, South Carolina

U.K. Teams

· Team Bio Hazard; Reading School; Reading, Berkshire, England

· Team Thomas Aveling MS!; The Thomas Aveling School; Rochester, Kent, England

· Team TA SREWS; The Thomas Aveling School; Rochester, Kent, England

· Team Falinge; Falinge Park High School; Rochdale, Lancashire, England

· Team Heidi; Our Lady’s Abingdon; Oxford, Oxfordshire, England

For more information about the teams and their projects, please go to

The Importance of Biodiversity

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 OurEchoChallenge, visit or  follow us on Facebook:

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For more information about EarthEcho International, visit

For more information about program sponsor Aramco, visit  



Bryan Hughes


Ali Finer