Campus Debris Survey

The classroom activity package Winged Ambassadors – Ocean Literacy through the Eyes of Albatross is available free online courtesy of Oikonos, in partnership with NOAA’s Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary and Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

Albatrosses, charismatic and threatened seabirds, are ambassadors for a clean ocean because they traverse vast oceanic regions searching for floating food. Along their journeys, they ingest plastic trash and feed it to their chicks. These lessons comprise new and modified activities, using inquiry-based science instruction, aligned to new standards for grades 6 – 8 with extensions for grades 9 – 12. 

Campus Debris Survey- Do you notice wrappers and plastic straws around your school campus? Your students can use this valuable "data" to make linkages from their school grounds to the ocean! After completing this lesson, students will be able to collect and analyze debris on their school or community grounds and make connections between trash on their campus and marine debris. They will also be able to define the term “watershed”. As a concluding project, students will create a poster, brochure, or public service announcement to educate other students on the ways their behavior can impact the ocean.

Download the supporting materials, including worksheets and presentations, here.

Winged Ambassadors is made up of five units that explore how scientists study these magnificent seabirds at sea and how satellite tracking tells us about their habitat needs. Explore the entire activity package for free at