agencies and organizations working with the issue of marine
litter (marine debris) offer educational material and special
activities for children. The overall purpose of these efforts
is to make children familiar with the marine environment, make
them care about it and understand the consequences of abusing
it. The educational programmes are about waste management in
general and/or about marine litter in particular. A few examples
of programmes and activities targetting children/students (and
their teachers) are given here.
Thames in the United Kingdom is actually the cleanest estuary
in any big city in Europe. It has 119 species of fish and 350
species of small water animals. However, it is blighted by thousands
of tonnes of litter which is blown, thrown and washed into it.
The river also exports litter to the marine environment where
it pollutes beaches and kills marine wildlife around the world,
making this more than just a local aesthetic problem. Thames21
is a project to prevent and remedy this problem. Adopt-A-River
is one project, which also has activities
for kids. See also Litter
in the environment and other facts on litter from rivers
into the sea.
up Australia Kids
is Part of Clean Up Australia. Read more about "Friday
Schools Clean Up Day", the project "From
Clean Up to Fix Up" project within the framework of
Kids (an NGO of kids for the environment), and Clean Up
Australia's Litter Prevention in School Projects.
the Tide on Trash is a comprehensive Learning
Guide on Marine Debris. offered by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA). All components of the Guide are fairly
large PDF documents. The guide includes a litter survey ("Let's
Talk Trash"), as well as facts on definitions, characteristics,
sources of marine debris, ways to reduce or prevent marine debris,
the effects of marine debris, and how to develop solutions and
spreading the word.
1983, the shipping organization Hellenic
Marine Environment Association (HELMEPA) organizes an annual
public awareness environmental campaign on marine litter, including
beach clean-up activities. Other environmental education activities
include permanent and mobile exhibitions for students, a drawing/poster
competition, etc. See also HELMEPA
is a survey initiated by the British Environment Agency
to report on and improve the visual quality of beaches across
England and Wales. It is a visual survey only and does not
involve collecting litter. Groups of volunteers from aged
8 upwards are invited to go out and survey beaches. All
groups must be accompanied by an adult and have parental
permission. BeachBeat has been established to give young
people the chance to get involved in contributing to a better
environment. By reporting the information they compile through
the surveys they will be enabling the Environment Agency
and it's partners to improve aesthetic quality of beaches.
The information they obtain will help us to pinpoint site
specific issues and take action to tackle them.
University of South Florida College of Marine Science presents
Bay Beach Buddies, a Shoreline Cleanup Program designed
to get citizens involved in cleaning up Tampa Bay's shorelines.
The site includes background facts on marine litter and Lesson
Activities, as well as a Student Litter Survey aimed at training
students to analyze, collect data, compare and contrast.
pollution can come from a lot of different places, but the number
one reason that our creeks, rivers, lakes and beaches get dirty
is from the water and other pollutants that flow into storm
drains. " Kids' pages by the City of Oceanside Clean Water
proramme,, with lots of illustrations, about storm
water and marine pollution (marine litter, oils etc.).
of the Forth Estuary Forum Coastal Litter Campaign is
the level of education and awareness on marine litter
with the help of education advisers and production of
an education resource to be used by schools as part of
the 5-14 curriculum. See also the Education
campaign (with an interactive zone for students).
the Kids and Teachers Corner of the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) you will find background
information and the Marine
Debris Colouring Book. A variety of materials from other
federal and state U.S. agencies, commercial and recreational
organizations, and private individuals, has been compiled
to alert youth and their families to the hazards persistent
marine debris pose to our natural resources and marine life.
a group "adopts" a beach as part of the Adopt-A-Beach
program they commit to cleaning it at least three times
per year, although school groups can fulfill their obligation
with a single cleanup. Thousands
of young people have participated in the annual Coastal
Cleanup Day, the School Assembly Program, as well as adopting
beaches and parks. The
Problem of Marine Debris
is part of the Save Our Seas curriculum, a marine curriculum
of hands-on activities to help students understand the effects
of marine debris on coastal wildlife and habitats. It provides
the educational, scientific and motivational underpinnings
of the program. Hundreds of classrooms have already incorporated
Save Our Seas into their lesson plans, and teachers are
currently being trained to use the curriculum throughout
a joint project for schools in Denmark, Finland. Norway,
Sweden, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, Keep
the Beach Clean is now open for all schools in Europe
within the framework of the EU-supported Virtual
School of the European Schoolnet. Pupils are to clean
a beach from wastes/garbage during a period of one year,
register what they find, and send the results to the Virtual
School (project coordinator). About 5-10 schools from each
country are envisaged as participants. The project is to
result in a report to be submitted to politicians in different
countries in Europe to demonstrate the extent of litter
is one of the activity and colouring books in the Kids'
Corner of the U.S. Coastguard. It contains 10 activities
(including Clean Boating-Clean Water Activity, Trash Problems,
Pollution Solutions, Marine debris is trouble for me! and
Looking for pollution) and a Report Form.
stuff for kids: Wildlife
and pollution. Information for kids, with photos, about
plastic pellets, plastic bags and plastic strappings, and
the harm they do to wildlife. Site published by WildNetAfrica
is an initiative by the Center for Global Environmental Education,
Hamline University, U.S. This site, about actions to take
in your watershed to prevent littering of rivers, lakes (and
ultimately, the sea), contains fact sheets, guides for action
(including Adopt-A-River) and other stuff to learn and act.
Plan on Marine Debris is given by the Bishop Museum in
Honolulu as part of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Expeditions.
The focus question is what trash characteristics that affect
the likelihood it will become marine debris. The objective
of the lessons is to make students able to define marine debris,
categorize different types of debris, and determine how a
material can influence what becomes marine debris. See questionnaire.