Clean Ocean Action

Marine Debris Lessons & Activities

"Splash it! Don't trash it!" by Patty Brown

  • Grades 6-8
  • Students will identify major sources of marine debris.
  • Students will research the potential effects of marine debris on ocean life.
  • Students will describe specific actions that individuals may take to reduce or eliminate these dangers to marine life.

Waves, Wetlands and Watersheds” by the California Coastal Commission (download for free or pay for a paper copy)

  • Grades 3-12
  • Classroom and community activity guide
  • Addresses endangered species, marine debris, coastal geology, water use, and more.

Save Our Seas” by The Ocean Conservancy (formerly the Center for Marine Conservation) and the California Coastal Commission

  • Grades K-12
  • Divided into four units: grades K-3, 4-6, 7-8, and 9-12. 
  • Each unit addresses why we should care about the marine environment, the ocean pollution problem and how individuals can be part of the solution.

 “Cycles”, “Adaptation” and “Stewardship” by Wyland Ocean Challenge

  • Grades K-6
  • Up to forty activities to broaden the student’s understanding of marine life adaptation, conservation, and water cycles.
  • Each activity has been designed to support the National Science Education Standards and National Visual Arts Standards, and is presented in a way that is both meaningful and captivating.

“Cleaner Times” by US Environmental Protection Agency and NJ Department of Environmental Protection

(Call 410-305-2603 to order this free set of materials)

  • Grades 3-8
  • “The Adventures of Camouflage Kid” – Clean Streets = Clean Beaches video
  • “Cleaner Times: The Curriculum Guide” focuses on three areas of education: awareness of litter, knowledge of the causes and effects of litter on the beach, and impact of behaviors and search for solutions.

"Marine Debris Coloring Book" from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

  • Grades 3-8
  • Both a coloring book and a reader for teaching children about the problem of debris in our oceans and how they can help make the oceans cleaner.

Biodegradation Poster” from Mote Marine Laboratory

(order from www.mote.org, $4.50 each)

  • Educational poster creates a time line for biodegradation of marine debris
  • Items such as glass bottles, disposable diapers and paper towels are ranked by the length of time it takes for them to biodegrade in the marine environment.

"Marine Debris Biodegradation Timeline" from the Irish Sea Fisheries Board

  • Educational poster creates a time line for biodegradation of marine debris
  • Items such as glass bottles, disposable diapers and paper towels are ranked by the length of time it takes for them to biodegrade in the marine environment.
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