Educators sort trash in a box that is also filled with sand and other natural debris during a workshop.

For Educators

Explore our marine debris resources designed to support your needs and learning for students of all ages.

  • Spotlight

    Explore some of our most popular marine debris resources for educators.
    A student looking at her Climate Action Plan at a youth summit.
    A special collection from the NOAA Office of Education with materials for anyone working with students at home: Distance learning educators, homeschool teachers, and parents.
    Fish illustration.
    Download an assortment of puzzles, brain-teasers, and coloring activities for Grades 1-12. All activities are available for download and print!
    Beach covered with debris.
    Download an assortment of disciplinary lesson plans, units, and full curricula for Grades 1-12. All curricula and lesson plans are available for download and print!
    A clip of the cover of the Marine Debris Learning Guide.
    Teaching and learning materials to introduce marine debris issues through background information and hands-on activities for educators and students.
    Cover of Marine Debris in the Great Lakes Display Cards.
    Dive into these colorful fact sheets to learn about the types, sources, impacts, and solutions to marine debris throughout the Great Lakes.
    Cover of Plastic Pollution and You.
    This hands-on, standards-aligned curriculum helps students to think about types, sources, and impacts of plastic debris, as well as potential solutions.
    Earth Genius Lesson Plans.
    Engage students in marine debris prevention with standards-aligned, project-based lessons from One Cool Earth.
    Trash Shouldn't Splash logo.
    This toolkit provides strategies, best practices, and examples of successful, student-driven campaigns to reduce single-use plastics.
    Cover of the Marine Debris Prevention Best Practices Manual.
    This Marine Debris Prevention Best Practices Manual is a comprehensive guide to help establish lasting change on school campuses.
    A bag of yellow rope pieces.
    Students explore debris types of concern and identify ways to interrupt their escape into the environment with these lessons from Oregon Sea Grant.
    Cover of Prince George’s County Clean and Beautiful activity book.
    Kids of all ages can learn about marine debris with these colorful, character-focused activity books from Prince George’s County, Maryland.
    A colored pencil drawing of a hand reaching into the ocean amid sea creatures holding signs with "no littering" messages on them, artwork by Anika A. (Grade 4, Washington), winner of the Annual NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest.
    The 2024 Marine Debris Calendar is now available for download! Learn more about the annual NOAA Marine Debris Art Contest.
    Kids on the beach are picking up debris.
    Interested in citizen science efforts but not sure where to start? This easy-to-use app will help you collect and analyze data about marine debris in your area. The Marine Debris Tracker App is managed by the University of Georgia.
    Recycling and waste bins on a schoolyard.
    Get helpful tips to reduce school lunchroom waste and support student responsibility through waste sorting stations in this video from One Cool Earth.
    Students around a desk.
    The first step to solving a problem is learning more about it. Learn what you can do to create change at school.
  • Classroom Resources

    Explore a variety of resources available to use in class or virtually.
    Students lined up on a beach with measuring rope.
    A resource for educators who are interested in implementing Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project (MDMAP) surveys with their students.
    Marine debris littering a beach at the surf line.
    A NOAA Planet Stewards educator shares resources and lessons learned from their work in the 2022 issue of The Earth Scientist.
    Buoys, floats, and other marine debris piled up after a cleanup.
    A NOAA Planet Stewards educator shares resources and lessons learned from their work in the 2022 issue of The Earth Scientist.
    A food container, seen resting at 4,947 meters on the slopes of a canyon leading to the Sirena Deep.
    During a dive along the Mariana Trench wall, the NOAA Okeanos Explorer team saw multiple pieces of marine debris.
    A person overlooking a large pile of marine debris.
    Learn about marine debris of all shapes and sizes, as well as marine debris projects that NOAA and community partners are conducting in Alaska.
    NOAA Ocean Podcast banner.
    Learn about interconnected ocean issues with the NOAA Ocean Podcast, covering topics including microplastics, citizen science, and garbage patches.
    NOAA Planet Stewards logo.
    NOAA Planet Stewards supports educators to carry out hands-on action-based stewardship projects with participants of all ages.
    Silhouettes of marine debris and the title "Not Just Talking Trash: Marine Debris and What We Can Do About It!".
    Learn how to talk about and connect to the problem of marine debris, resources to help you, what we’re still learning, and how to be part of the solution.
    Part of a Garbage Patches poster.
    Our poster collection is available to help spread awareness of marine debris and highlight some of the most important issues we’re trying to address through prevention, removal, and research.
    People using the stuffed turtle to demonstrate debris ingestion.
    Use these stuffed turtles to educate youth about the impacts of marine debris and encourage behavior changes that would reduce the generation of marine debris in the future.
    Oversimplified graphic of "garbage patches" in the North Pacific Ocean.
    What and where are garbage patches, anyway? Find out more about this important marine debris topic.
    Trash Talk.
    View our Regional Emmy® Award-winning TRASH TALK video series. Each short video covers a marine debris topic. Here you’ll also find a TRASH TALK Webinar for Educators featuring fun and informative activities to pair with the videos for all age levels.
  • Student Voices

    Check out the amazing projects and opportunities featuring students around the country working to keep our sea free of debris.
    Salem Sound Coastwatch & Girls, Inc., of Lynn, Massachusetts.
    These high school students have created outreach campaigns around issues including cigarette butt litter, composting, and working with restaurants.
    An Eckerd College student with a reusable tumbler.
    Students at Eckerd College have led an effort to reduce single-use plastics on campus through research, outreach, and policy changes.
    A cafe sign that reads, "Think of our seas and be single-use plastic free!".
    Fifth graders from Falmouth, Massachusetts, worked with partners to create a campaign to reduce single-use plastics in their community.
    Image of a fish and the words "Refuse Plastic: Save the Seas!".
    With funding from the NOAA Planet Stewards Project, these students focused on reducing waste through reusables in school and home lunches.
    A student collecting debris on a rocky shore.
    Eckerd College and the University of North Florida will foster long-term behavior change among undergraduate students to reduce single-use plastic consumption.
    Hands holding out marine debris collected from a lake shoreline.
    The Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan and Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative are leading "Food for Thought," a project engaging 500 youth in grades 3-12 in Northeast Michigan to reduce waste produced in school lunchrooms.
    A takeout container left on the roadside.
    Salem Sound Coastwatch is working with high school interns to develop effective community-based social marketing messages and launch a “CoastSmart” restaurant campaign to reduce the use of single-use plastics.
    Students in a classroom.
    The Alice Ferguson Foundation is expanding its current marine debris focused education programming to engage secondary students in Prince George’s County, Maryland, around the issue of marine debris and litter prevention in their schools and communities.
  • Additional Resources

    Looking for more? Here is a selection of additional resources and opportunities available for educators.
    Plastics in the Ocean Infographic.
    Multimedia resources from the NOAA Marine Debris Program, including photos, videos, posters, infographics, marine debris artwork, and more!
    A crab entangled in a yellow net.
    Check out our photo gallery for images of marine debris types, sources, solutions, research, prevention, and impacts.
    People sitting at desk with multiple activities.
    Find information about opportunities available to educators throughout NOAA, including professional development, online resources, and grant opportunities.
    A person removing debris near a large chick on the beach.
    Here you can learn about all things marine debris! Our blog promotes the work of our dedicated partners, announces new marine debris products and events, and shares information on how you can help.
    NOAA Marine Debris Education Newsletter banner.
    The NOAA Marine Debris Education Newsletter highlights marine debris lessons and educational resources and features upcoming events, art contests, and fun crafts.
Last updated Wed, 02/21/2024 - 04:12 pm EST