Toronto – Every year, Earth Day asks Canadians to think about the health of our planet. In the lead up to Earth Day this year, Environmental Defence is asking young people to think about environmental issues in their community and look for a solution through an international journalism contest called Young Reporters for the Environment. The contest, open to youth aged 12 to 18, is an opportunity for young people to contribute an article or photo about environmental issues that matter to them.  
“Today’s youth will be tomorrow’s politicians, activists, and journalists,” said Rebecca McNeil, Project Coordinator of Young Reporters for the Environment. “No matter what they end up doing for a living, how they will vote, act, and buy will all have an impact on their environment. We want them to start thinking about that now.”
Hundreds of young people from 22 countries participate in Young Reporters for the Environment. Submissions will be eligible to appear in an international publication, and win other prizes.
The contest offers participants a website (www.youngreporters.ca) where they can download handbooks full of writing and photography tips, access a resource bank to research their article, and engage directly with writing and photography experts – National Post reporter Vanessa Farquharson, and naturalist and photographer Jennifer Howard.
Young people can submit their stories and photos until April 30, 2010. A panel of judges will choose three articles and five photos to represent Canada in the international competition. The global winners will be announced in early June.
Contest and submission details can be found on the Young Reporters for the Environment web site at www.youngreporters.ca.
About Environmental Defence (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence protects the environment and human health. We research solutions. We educate. We go to court when we have to. All in order to ensure clean air, clean water and thriving ecosystems nationwide, and to bring a halt to Canada’s contribution to climate change.

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For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 232; (647) 280-9521 (cell)