Marine Debris Education Newsletter

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NOAA Marine Debris Program

Educator Newsletter

August 13, 2019  •  A quarterly newsletter highlighting marine debris curriculum, events, and ideas.

"The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it."

—Robert Swan

NOAA Partner Spotlight

Learn how to construct a web of ideas that may increase or decease beach littler by using Ohio Sea Grant's lesson plan "What is the impact of beach litter".
Age: Grade 5-12 and Adult Learners   

What's Happening Near You?

Learn more about marine debris in your region by clicking a link below. 

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Pacific Northwest




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A watercolor drawing of a young girl sitting on a beach.

Check out the curricula on our website.

Welcome Back Educators!

To kick off the school year, the NOAA Marine Debris Program would like to support your Environmental Science Units by highlighting our free curriculum resources and activities available online. An Educator's Guide to Marine Debris (pictured above) is a one-stop-shop for educators working with grades K-12 who want to incorporate watersheds and/or marine debris into a lesson plan. Each lesson includes suggested age level, duration of lesson, STEM applications, and more!

Take a look at the "Back to School" blog below to learn how to conduct a lunch waste audit in your classroom today by using the Trash Tracker worksheet included in this guide!


A photograph of the new marine debris educator.

Introducing our new Communications and Education Specialist - Jennifer Simms

Jennifer started in her new position in June 2019, and has jumped in with both feet. A marine biologist by degree and an environmental educator by practice, she has a combine total of 11 years of experience teaching and working in the field. 
She has a Master’s of Professional Science from University of Miami-Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and an undergraduate degree in biology/marine biology from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. You can reach Jennifer at,
Photo: Testing the limits in Virginia (NOAA).


A step by step guide on how to create an envelope from a calendar.

Marine Debris Activity

Looking for a way to reuse your outdated calendars from the Marine Debris Program Art Contest? Follow this step-by-step guide to transform the calendar, or any other scrap of paper, into an envelope. 

1. Gently deconstruct an actual envelope, that once unfolded, will fit the size of the calendar page. Pro tip: if you plan to make several envelopes, trace the deconstructed envelope onto a cereal box and cut it out to create a more stable template.

2. Trace the envelope onto the calendar in pen or pencil.

3. Cut out the envelope shape.

4. Flip the envelop over and fold up the back tabs and glue or tape them into place.

5. Turn the envelope over and write the address in permanent marker, or add an address label. 

6. Add postage and mail it!

Photo: Follow these five simple steps to create your very own envelope (NOAA).

Several cloth, re-usable bags lay on a wooden table.

Back to School Blog: Keeping Lunches Debris Free

In this blog, learn how both teachers and students can work to keep their lunches debris free by incorporating small changes into their lunch choices. 

Would you like to get the Marine Debris Program blog directly in your mailbox? Subscribe today!

Photo: Try creating your own reusable lunch bags from scrap fabric (NOAA).

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