Investigating Oceanic Garbage Patches (USVI)

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

Students will learn about what happens to floating marine debris (surface, near surface, and in the water column) that doesn’t get collected during beach cleanups. They will apply knowledge of oceanic water movement to understand why trash gets trapped in specific areas in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Students will interpret maps published in news articles. This also tests students reading comprehension skills.

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  
• Garbage Patches  
Audience:  
• Grade 6-8  
• Grade 9-12  
NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas:  
• ESS3: Earth and Human Activity  
Subject:  
• Language Arts  
• Earth Science  
• Physical Science  
Special Categories:  
• Research  
• Class Discussion  
• Multimedia  
• Virtual Learning Ready  
NOAA Regions:   • Caribbean
Last updated Wed, 07/03/2024 - 10:44 am EDT