It was the turtle seen around the world. In 2015, marine conservation biologist Christine Figgener posted a now viral video of an olive ridley sea turtle with a nearly five inch straw lodged in its nostril. One video sparked a movement. Ever since, single use plastics like straws have been targeted in the fight against litter and marine debris. Because plastic persists for hundreds of years, making sure it ends up in the proper trash or recycling receptacle and not on the ground is very important. But most important of all is reducing our use of single use plastics to begin with. This week’s easy environmental lesson plan covers the issue of litter and marine debris from land to sea, discussing the negative environmental impacts and the simple ways we can all make a difference.
Week Seven: Litter & Marine Debris
Assignments & Worksheets
- Elementary Students:
- Middle School Students:
- Complete a neighborhood litter audit. (Picking up litter is not currently recommended due to the potential spread of COVID-19. If you choose to do a cleanup, wear gloves or use a litter grabber. Don’t touch your face and wash your hands!)
- What litter do you see in your neighborhood?
- Where do you think it came from?
- What could be done to prevent this litter?
- Animal Entanglement – NOAA (page 60-63)
- Sea Pollution in a Jar
- Oil spill cleanup
- Classifying aquatic debris