Spring 2019 Marine Debris Program Educator Newsletter

NOAA Marine Debris Program 

Educator Newsletter

NOAA Web Logo
Child's drawing

2018 Marine Debris Art Contest Winner Mia C., Grade 8, Texas

Spring 2019

Welcome to 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: marinedebris.education@noaa.gov


2019 calendar cover.

2019 Calendars Available

The NOAA Marine Debris Program's 2019 Marine Debris Calendar is now available for download.  Limited hard copies are also available, email marinedebris.web@noaa.gov if interested.

This calendar features the winners of last year's art contest and serves as a reminder to be the solution to marine debris everyday!

Regional Collaboration Portals

Region-specific education resources can be found on the the Marine Debris Program's regional collaboration portals. 

Developed in collaboration with regional partners in the Great Lakes, this tool is currently active in the following regions:

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 Lesson

Students watching an activity in the classroom.

Students in this classroom learn to sort different types of debris (Photo Credit: NOAA)

Turning the Tide on Trash: Trash Traits

Grade Level: 1-6

Time: 40 minutes

In this interactive lesson, Students perform experiments to examine whether or not trash can float, blow around, or wash away. This helps students understand how marine debris gets into our ocean and Great Lakes and what they can do about it. 

Check out all the lessons in the Turning the Tide on Trash curriculum

Featured Project

Students dissecting a plush sea turtle.

The simulated insides of this sea turtle plush help students understand the effects of marine debris on wildlife. (Photo Credit: Jan Rickey, Rachel Freeman School of Engineering)

UNCW MarineQuest Turtle Trash Collectors

One of the NOAA Marine Debris Project's newest projects is leveraging students’ fondness for sea turtles and encourage behavior changes that will reduce their generation of marine debris in the future. The University of North Carolina MarineQuest, with the support of a NOAA Marine Debris Prevention Grant, created the Turtle Trash Collectors (2TC) program. Through the program, students get to participate in a hands-on simulation of a sea turtle necropsy, or animal dissection, and earn badges to develop good habits. 

Learn more about this project on our website.

Professional Development

Debris on the shore of a lake.

Marine debris isn't just in the ocean. This debris is on the shores of the Great Lakes. (Photo Credit: NOAA)

Marine Debris Webinar for Educators

Want to learn more about marine debris and plastic pollution in the Great Lakes? Curious about what educational resources are available? Join us for a one hour webinar. Experts will be sharing up-to-date information on the problem and presenting resources that can be used in the classroom or at other venues! All lessons are aligned with Next Generation Science Standards.

Open to all formal and informal educators.

Lessons geared towards 5-9th grade audience.

April 3, 2019 3:30-4:30 EST

Please RSVP to sarah.lowe@noaa.gov by April 2, 2019

Featured Blog Post


This sample of plastics collected from the Gulf of Mexico also contains life. Animals all over the ocean and Great Lakes are consuming and excreting plastics. (Photo Credit: NOAA)

The Smelly Science of Tracking the Movements of Microplastics

Where does plastic go once it enters the ocean? This is a harder question to answer than it may seem. When we think of plastic pollution, most of us think of large pieces of plastic floating at the surface of the ocean, but that’s only a piece of the puzzle. Recent research is revealing that microplastics are being moved not just by currents and weather, but by animals through their digestive tracts.

Read the rest of the story here.