Marine debris has major impacts on all kinds of marine animals, especially sea turtles. These iconic animals can confuse plastic bags and balloons for jellyfish, their favorite food. In this interactive video of the Turtle Trash Collectors program, students can virtually participate in a simulated sea turtle necropsy, or animal dissection, learn how trash can get to the ocean and impact sea turtles, and learn how we can all help stop marine debris! Please be aware that the model dissection may upset sensitive viewers, especially younger students (second grade and below).
Throughout the video, there are places to pause and discuss observations and predictions with students, which correspond with two optional printable resources. Students should use either the datasheet OR the flipbook as they follow along with the video. The datasheet is recommended for students in fourth grade and older, while the flipbook is recommended for students in third grade and below. For more information, additional activities, and lesson extensions, please see the Program Activities Guide.
Turtle Trash Collectors is a University of North Carolina Wilmington MarineQuest environmental education initiative supported by the NOAA Marine Debris Program. The goal of this initiative is to educate youth about the impacts of marine debris and encourage behavior changes that reduce the generation of marine debris in the future. From 2019-2021, MarineQuest implemented the Turtle Trash Collectors program both in-person and virtually, reaching over 29,500 people worldwide.