By: Asma Mahdi
Education and outreach are at the core of marine debris prevention. On the west coast, we’ve funded projects that educate local communities and reach thousands of K-12 students to stop the problem at the source. Marine debris starts with us. If we are accountable for our actions, we can all help prevent trash from reaching our ocean.
Here are highlights from our current projects:
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History educated the local community and students on how they can prevent trash from reaching the ocean. Marine Debris, the Ocean, & Me focuses on teaching that debris moves through the watershed and into marine environments, with particular attention to litter found around the outflow of Mission Creek Lagoon in Santa Barbara.
Through art and science, the Washed Ashore Project will help educate students and teachers on marine debris across the nation. By participating in hands on activities such as beach cleanups, interactive lesson plans, and creating and experiencing marine debris art sculptures, project participants will experience and come away with a better understanding of how the issue impacts daily lives and critical resources.
Feiro Marine Life Center and Washington CoastSavers have launched a program called Education and Action: A One-Two Punch for Reducing Marine Debris on the Washington Coast. The two-pronged program focuses education efforts in coastal communities and elementary schools through classroom activities and field studies at local beaches, as well as action through beach cleanups and visits to an aquarium.
Oregon State University and partners have paired with the NOAA Marine Debris Program to create a comprehensive marine debris curriculum that immerses 4th-12th grade students in project-based learning and citizen science activities using an integrated curriculum.