Marine Debris Resources for Teachers

We all know marine debris is a growing problem, but sometimes it is hard to conceptualize just how far its presence spans. Thanks to the NOAA Marine Debris Program there are many different educational aids at your fingertips. From lesson plans to activities, they have it all. At Learning Endeavors we love to promote citizen science and GIS mapping as tools for students to become more engaged in their learning, so we thought we would share a couple of our favorite resources.

Photo Credit: NOAA

  1. Marine Debris Tracker - This may be one of our all time favorite citizen science apps. Marine Debris Tracker allows anyone to log the rubbish they find in inland coastal areas as part of a worldwide effort to monitor plastic pollution in our oceans. All you need is a smartphone, tablet or computer to enter the quantity and type of litter collected. This data helps real-life scientists with their research.

  2. In Your Region Map - Map literacy is an important skill for students to learn early on. This resource allows you to view a state or region specific map that highlights information on current marine debris projects and activities

  3. Marine Debris ArcGIS Map Activity - Using a pre-made ArcGIS map, your students can explore the currents that accumulate ocean trash and how humans impact this trash buildup.

  4. Trash Talk Special Feature - Hearing from experts in the field can be beneficial for students. This 15 minute long, regional Emmy® Award-winning video by NOAA illustrates what exactly marine debris is and why it is problematic.


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