Marine Debris Activities
Crab tangled in fishing line


Crab Bullet PointGather background information. Set up a research team to check in newspapers and magazines for articles about trash on beaches. Make a scrapbook of clippings related to wildlife injuries and litter. The library can help find old newspaper articles about trash on the beach.

Make a Sea Creature Protest Poster. Collect some bits of plastic, fishing gear, and other rubbish. Paste up a poster with cartoon sea creatures talking about trash on top of all their other problems.

Do a Preliminary Survey of some local beach and identify natural objects versus man-made litter. How can you tell the difference between a natural and a man made object? What are hazardous objects that might be found on a beach and what should you do if you see some? (large drums or buckets containing an unknown substance, glass and sharp objects, medical wastes, syringes, oil).

Get Organised to involve your community in protecting your beach.

Conduct a Scientific Survey of a local beach or shoreline to determine what kinds of trash are washing up. Fill out a survey sheet from Island Care. Take photographs of the material collected and of any wildlife found that has been harmed.

Contribute your Findings to International Research Combine all the survey sheets onto one sheet with the total counts of debris for the whole beach. Prepare pie charts showing the relative abundance of the different kinds of trash found. Send the summary information to Island Care by Email or Fax.

Be a Litter Detective. Discuss where the items might have come from. Can you think of ways to track down the origin of the trash?

Plan for Change. What specific actions must people take to stop each kind of trash you found from entering the water cycle?

Begin Community Action. First, brainstorm ways to convince those people responsible for allowing the trash to pollute the sea to change their ways. Remember to keep all interested parties informed of your survey and its results and you may be surprised to find lots of people are ready to help with media coverage and with action.


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