Marine debris is a widespread pollution problem in our ocean and waterways. It can harm wildlife, habitats, and our economy. This issue is human-caused, but it also has human solutions. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program is dedicated to better understanding and preventing marine debris and its impacts on our environment.
One of the best tools we have to combat marine debris is understanding the distribution, abundance, and types of debris in the marine environment. The Marine Debris Monitoring & Assessment Project (MDMAP) is a NOAA citizen science initiative to survey and record marine debris on shorelines. By participating in the MDMAP, students can generate critical data on marine debris for use by community organizations, policymakers, researchers, and NOAA. MDMAP data can also support student-generated action projects, providing opportunities to plan and implement authentic changemaking efforts.
The NOAA Marine Debris Program plans to demonstrate and solicit feedback on an updated tool to support implementation of the MDMAP protocols with students: The MDMAP Educators’ Guide (Guide). We will introduce the updated protocols, provide a demonstration of activities in the Guide, and engage in a discussion with educators about implementation, suggested extensions (including action projects), and feedback.
Attendees at this session will learn about the updated Marine Debris Monitoring & Assessment Project Educators’ Guide: a refreshed citizen science tool for monitoring shoreline marine debris available from the NOAA Marine Debris Program, including planning and conducting protocols with students, working with survey data, and creating authentic, meaningful action projects for students based on their experiences.
Alexandria Brake (NOAA Office of Education: Silver Spring, MD), Tanya Kea-Marie Torres (California Sea Grant Marine Debris Extension Fellow: , CA)