NOAA Marine Debris Program Educator Newsletter: March 2018

NOAA logo.

NOAA Marine Debris Program 

Educator Newsletter

Students listening to an educator and raising their hands.

One Cool Earth educators lead students through a school litter and waste reduction program. (Photo Credit: One Cool Earth)

March 2018

the third issue of the NOAA Marine Debris Program's quarterly Educator Newsletter

Let us know what you think!

We are always happy to receive feedback on our marine debris resources so that we can ensure we produce useful content for educators. Feel free to reach out to let us know what you think! 

What’s working for you? What new resources would you like to see? 

Let us know by emailing:


Photo contest

Creative Advocacy Competition

Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs has launched their second Marine Debris Creative Advocacy Competition for U.S. middle and high school students! Funded by a NOAA Marine Debris Program Prevention grant, this competition serves as a fun and exciting way for students to actively take part in preventing marine debris by carrying out real-world projects. 

Check out the competition's webpage for more information and how to enter. 


What is Marine Debris poster.

Check out some of our many other marine debris resources, including posters, activities, videos, and curricula.

Want to hear more from the NOAA Marine Debris Program? Follow us on:

Facebook logo.


Twitter logo.


Instagram logo.


NOAA logo.

Website & Blog

Featured Resource

Students weight and record trash.
(Credit: One Cool Earth)

How to Zero Waste Your School

One Cool Earth, through a project funded by the NOAA Marine Debris Program, worked with 17 schools in California to implement school-wide litter and waste reduction programs. Through this project, a guide to "zero waste your school in 3 easy steps" was created.

Get your school on board and reduce your waste by rethinking, reducing, reusing and recycling resources, and imitating natural cycles. Check out One Cool Earth's guide to get you started!

Featured Activity

A rubber band across the back of a hand, hooked on the thumb and pinkie finger.

Rubber Band Entanglement

Need a quick activity that your students can do at their desks? Teach your students about the hazards of marine debris with this simple and interactive "rubber band entanglement" activity. Students hook a rubber band onto their thumb and pinkie fingers, looping around the back of the hand as shown above (use your educator discretion with your class to avoid rubber bands shooting across the room). Given thirty seconds or so, students must try to remove the rubber band without using their other hand and without rubbing against anything. They quickly realize just how hard it can be to get "disentangled." 

Check out a demonstration of this and other activities in the Trash Talk Webinar for Educators!

Marine Debris Craft Corner

A piggy bank made from a plastic bottle.

Plastic Bottle Upcycling

Have some plastic bottles laying around from before you realized how easy it is to use reusable? Rather than recycling them, upcycle them! There are so many things you can do with old plastic bottles. Try turning them into a planter, pencil holder, or even a doll! For a fun and very simple class craft, here's some easy instructions for turning a plastic bottle into a piggy bank. Let it be a reminder to save both some money and our planet!


Step 1: Using scissors or a knife, cut a slit on the side of a plastic bottle. Make sure it's both long and wide enough to fit coins.

Step 2: Place the plastic bottle on its side, with the slit facing upwards. Attach four "legs" to the bottom of the bottle to prevent it from rolling around. You can do this using thumbtacks, or by attaching small items such as pebbles, toothpaste caps, or even rolled paper with glue.

Step 3: Decorate your piggy bank and then start saving!