Meet the Team: The Bayou Protectors

During the 2018-19 school year, teams of middle schoolers tackled the problem of plastic pollution in our waterways with the National Geographic GeoChallenge. First-place teams from sixteen regional competitions traveled to the 2019 Geo Championships in Washington, D.C. in May 2019. This blog series introduces you to each of those teams in their own words.* Registration for the 2019-2020 #NatGeoChallenge opens soon! Learn more at

Meet The Bayou Protectors!

The Bayou Protectors team from Texas with Geo Championships host Mo Rocca (photo by Mark Thiessen)

The third-place team for the National Geographic GeoChallenge at the 2019 Geo Championships and recipient of $5,000 to implement their solution was The Bayou Protectors team. The Bayou Protectors designed a prototype net to prevent debris from entering stormwater grates. Their project will protect the bayou and eventually the ocean. Their solution includes an “adopt a sewer” program to help keep the netting clear, ensuring that grates effectively operate. 

From: St. Francis Episcopal School, Texas

Team Motto: Have no fear, the Bayou Protectors are here!

A funny thing about your team: We’re goofy and funny and work well together. When it’s “go time” we can do amazing things! But sometimes we like to procrastinate.

List one way you’ve changed your single-use plastic use:

Mackenzie: I don’t use straws at all anymore.

Sammy: I recycle more and make sure my family does as well.

Mykayla: I use metal water bottles.

Favorite moment from the regional competition:

Abbie: Seeing the reactions to our project when we presented our idea.

Emily: The good vibes with everyone’s ideas and compliments.

A part of the world I’d like to explore is…

Elliot: The Mediterranean Sea


Registration for the 2019-2020 National Geographic GeoChallenge opens soon at

*Team responses have been lightly edited for grammar.

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