BREEF Announces Winners for 2024 Young Reporters for the Environment Competition

The Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation (BREEF) announces Dejae Woods, age 19 from the University of the Bahamas as the first-place winner of the 2024 Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) National Competition. 

The winning photo entry “Confronting the Devastating Effects of Marine Pollution in The Bahamas“ calls attention to the many issues that contribute to marine pollution in The Bahamas. In her article, Ms. Woods, a UB Journalism major, highlighted the socioeconomic consequences of marine pollution.

“Marine pollution diminishes the visual appeal of beaches and coastal areas, deterring visitors and impacting local economies heavily reliant on tourism revenue,” she wrote. 

Ms. Woods will receive a brand-new laptop and a Bahamas Underwater book gifted by BREEF to support and inspire her future in environmental reporting.

Shania Higgs, age 16, wins the second place prize, a cell phone and a Bahamas Underwater book for her single photo reportage, “The Shape of Things to Come”.  The entry sheds light on the destruction of natural ecosystems like the Mangrove Wetlands under the ‘Loss of Biodiversity’ theme.

YRE Photo entry, “The Shape of Things to Come” by Shania Higgs

In third place, the Climate Change campaign video “For Our Islands, For Our Planet: Voices of The Bahamas” by Lauren Scriven, age 16, amplifies the impacts of strong hurricanes and sea level rise in The Bahamas and makes a call to action for more climate efforts. She wins an underwater camera and a Bahamas Underwater book.

Lauren Scriven calls for urgent climate action in her video Entry, “For Our Islands, For Our Planet: Voices of The Bahamas”

These three winners will now represent The Bahamas in the 2024 Young Reporters for the Environment International Competition hosted by the Foundation of Environmental Education (FEE). 

BREEF commends all the YRE participants for submitting their articles, photos and videos. Entries focused on various real-time issues such as the effects of climate change in The Bahamas, biodiversity loss, and pollution.

YRE is a leadership programme that aims to empower students aged 11-25 to take a stand on environmental issues they feel strongly about. It gives them a platform to call attention to these issues through writing, photography, or video. There are more than 350,000 young reporters in 45 countries across the world.

Speaking on behalf of the YRE programme in The Bahamas, Crystal Darling-Sargent, National Operator for the Young Reporters for the Environment, said, “The YRE programme supports youth who are passionate about the environment to give nature a voice in such a fun and creative way. The YRE National Competition is a key part of the programme, however, throughout the year students can engage with nature and feel inspired to share what they have learned as they enhance their storytelling skills through this initiative.”

When asked what motivates her to protect nature, Ms. Woods stated, “My motivation to protect nature stems from a deep understanding of the interconnectedness of all life on Earth. I recognize that the health of our planet directly impacts our well-being and the survival of countless species.”

The Young Reporters for the Environment programme was launched in The Bahamas with the support of Moore Bahamas Foundation, The Builders Initiative and Primat Foundation to enable children around The Bahamas to get involved with the Young Reporters for the Environment programme and take part in the international competition. 

To learn more about the Young Reporters for the Environment programme and how you can get involved, please visit

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