NOAA's Marine Debris Blog

Keepin' the Sea Free of Debris!

Oregon Teachers Learn About Marine Debris


By: Nir Barnea

Education is at the core of marine debris prevention. It changes hearts and informs minds, encouraging people to make smart choices. And what better place to start than schools?

On February 1, teachers gathered at a productive one-day training on marine debris, led by Oregon Sea Grant, at the Hatfield Science Center in Newport, Oregon. Presentations covered marine debris as a local and global problem, marine debris transport and modeling, marine debris as a vector for invasive species, and the impact of marine debris on wildlife.

The training was part of a partnership project to engage 4th-12th grade students in marine debris efforts through a comprehensive Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics, and Social Studies (STEAMSS)-based marine debris curriculum. The teachers involved will take that curriculum back to their students and engage them in project-based learning and citizen science projects.

The project partners are Oregon State University, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon Coast Aquarium, Lincoln County School District, and the NOAA Marine Debris Program.

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Hands-on activities at the workshop included a beach survey, sorting marine debris from organic matter in a sandy “beach box,” finding microplastics in sand from the beach, dissecting albatross boluses (masses of chewed food) to find an array of plastic debris, and constructing extremely creative and wholly biodegradable drifters from fruit, vegetables, and wooden sticks.

The training and marine debris curriculum provides teachers the tools needed to educate and empower students to make a difference in their communities.

Author: NOAA Marine Debris Program

The NOAA Marine Debris Program envisions the global ocean and its coasts, users, and inhabitants free from the impacts of marine debris. Our mission is to investigate and solve the problems that stem from marine debris, in order to protect and conserve our nation's marine environment, natural resources, industries, economy, and people.

5 thoughts on “Oregon Teachers Learn About Marine Debris

  1. Pingback: Oregon Teachers Learn About Marine Debris – OECOLOG

  2. Wow, I’m glad to know that marine debris is now being included to schools. Exactly, the best place to encourage awareness from younger minds.

  3. Pingback: Paying It Forward: Students Profit from Educator Workshop | NOAA's Marine Debris Blog

  4. I love this! I’m a middle school science teacher in Charleston, SC. Do you all offer this teacher workshop in other areas? I would be thrilled to take part in this. We are currently trying to rally the community in adopting a ban on single use plastic bags and this would tie into our marine debris curriculum. I have always wanted to dissect albatross bolusues with my students as a visual. Thanks!

  5. Pingback: Oregon Teachers Learn About Marine Debris | OEOO Knowledgebase

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