Yesterday The Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation (BREEF) and The Ministry of Tourism organized a ceremony to recognize Deep Creek Middle School’s achievement of Green Flag certification.  Green Flag Certification is an international recognition, which is awarded to eco-friendly schools committed to environmental education and performance.

During the ceremony, Hyacinth Winder Pratt, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, congratulated the students for being a game changer as the first school in The Bahamas and the region to receive such an honor. She also recognized their commitment as an important contribution to preserving The Bahamas’ number one draw for tourism, the beautiful beaches, clean water, and environment. She went on to encourage the students to promise that they would get their parents, neighbors, and friends involved with promoting sustainability.

Also in attendance for the ceremony was Director of Sustainable Tourism, Earlston McPhee. “It is a great milestone that you’ve achieved. A small school of this size is setting the pace for the rest of the English speaking Caribbean,” said McPhee.

The DCMS Eco-Club led the school on its journey to receive the Green Flag with pilot projects like the creation of a recycling center where students recycled Capri Sun pouches, plastic bottles, and aluminum cans. The Eco-club also imposed a fine of 50 cent to those students who use styrofoam containers in an effort to eliminate their use and installed fan and light timers to reduce electricity consumption.

“I feel good about what we’ve done. We did a lot of hard work and it paid off,” said Hershal Knowles, president of DCMS Eco-Club. Additional members of the club include Treshae Clark, vice president; Moesha Leary, secretary; Nickeva Griffin, Brittany Gibson, and Jovanna Sands.

On behalf of the PTA of DCMS, Danielle Gibson offered her support to the school and their efforts. “The PTA of DCMS is extremely proud of the accomplishments of the Eco-Club. Their success today is a testament to the leadership and responsible citizenship that is inspired by motto of DCMS. We are excited to see our youth blaze this new trail in sustainability and we commit to encouraging them as they learn and become teachers inspiring this generation to take the helm in preserving our natural environments.”

In her address to the students and guests, DCMS Principal, Dr. Joanna Paul, outlined three key areas that DCMS will build upon to continue their conservation and academic success. Specifically, DCMS is committed to increasing student leadership, sharing knowledge with other schools and teachers throughout The Bahamas, and making their campus a model for sustainability. She also acknowledged Charlene Carey from BREEF for her support in partnering with DCMS to accomplish their Green Flag status.

“It’s monumentous. We want the program to grow and get more schools to sign-up,” said Charlene Carey.