A Degrading Experience (USVI)

Cover of the U.S. Virgin Islands Marine Debris Curriculum - Keeping Our Coastlines Clean

In this activity, students will investigate how long it takes different types of debris to degrade and how weather and sunlight affect the breakdown rate. Students will learn how degradation rates impact how long debris persists in the environment. Students will learn the difference between human-made and natural materials.

Marine debris is a pervasive, global problem and one that is felt locally in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). Through a NOAA Marine Debris Program prevention grant, the University of the Virgin Islands adapted and revised marine debris lessons for USVI, including Oregon Marine Debris STEAMSSTurning the Tide on Trash, and Talking Trash and Taking Action. The curriculum was co-created with the input of educators from USVI who participated in workshops and provided input following in-class use. The curriculum also includes 15 spotlights, which highlight USVI-specific marine debris research, local researchers, community-led prevention efforts, and natural disaster impacts from marine debris.

Looking for more USVI activities? Check out Understanding Marine Debris - U.S. Virgin Islands Edition, an activity book filled with an assortment of puzzles, brain-teasers, and coloring activities adapted for use in USVI.

Lesson Plans
Marine Debris Topics:  
• Types and Sources  
• Grade 6-8  
• Grade 9-12  
NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas:  
• ESS3: Earth and Human Activity  
• Math  
• Earth Science  
• Physical Science  
Special Categories:  
• Working with Data  
• Outdoor Activity  
• Class Discussion  
• Scientific Method  
NOAA Regions:   • Caribbean
Last updated Wed, 07/03/2024 - 10:45 am EDT