2021 OurEcho Challenge WINNERS

1ST PLACE, $5,000 - Algae Biofiltration
Windermere Preparatory School, Windermere, FL
This team is researching how growing beneficial algae can outcompete the harmful algal blooms in both salt and freshwater environments using the campus pond at Windermere Prep in Central Florida as a representative ecosystem.

2ND PLACE, $2,000 - Habitat Hotels
Bednarcik Junior High School, Aurora, IL
This team is restoring the native habitats in the Aurora, IL area by removing invasive plant species and replacing those with native, pollinator-friendly plants.

3RD PLACE $1,000 - Springtails
Door 55 School, Medford, MA
This team is addressing the decline of insect species, specifically pollinators, through habitat enhancement, increased native vegetation, the adoption of organic practices, and observations at the bank of the Mystic River.

Congratulations to the 2021 finalists

The Environmental Droners - People's Choice Award

Love A Sea Turtle, Greenville, NC
This team is introducing an innovative method of using drones to combat the single-use plastic pollution crisis, which is contaminating local waterways of North Carolina and ultimately, the ocean.

Himalayan Blackberry Squad

Montessori Children's House, Redmond, WA
This team is coordinating efforts to remove invasive Himalayan blackberries, while also restoring native plants such as skunk cabbage, evergreens, red maple, and red dogwood found in and around the wetlands of Montessori Children's House campus.

Wilt Warriors

HurLee Biodiversity, Syosset, NY
This team is preserving the precious environment that oak forest species need to survive by attempting to prevent oak trees from catching oak wilt disease and isolate those already infected.

Fish Friendly Shorelines

Montessori Children's House, Redmond, WA
This team is conserving forage fish by addressing the issue of armoring the shoreline on the Puget Sound, which is causing loss of habitat for important species.

Saving a Species – Atala Butterfly Project

Family, Sunrise, FL
This team is working to enlarge and protect the ecosystem for the Atala butterfly by reintroducing and preserving the host plant, the coontie (Zamia floridana), as well as nectar plants for this rare species.

Baby Estuary

Rowlett Middle Academy, Bradenton, FL
This team is creating seagrass and mangrove habitats in areas where urbanization is outweighing natural habitat in Florida estuary ecosystems.

Stop the Noise and Save the Owls!

Montessori Children's House, Redmond, WA
This team is working to increase plant diversity to act as a buffer from noise pollution in heavily-populated areas in order to protect important predatory species, such as the Barred owl.