Information for Schools and Colleges


Young Coastal Guardians Fighting Against Marine Pollution

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Pollution of the marine environment occurs through various routes, including oil spillage and sewage. Because of our increasing reliance on plastics as a convenience in our daily lives, our ocean ecosystems are under particular threat from their accidental release into the oceans.

Plastic is a durable and long-lasting material, features that contribute to its global use. These very properties ensure that, on reaching the natural environment, plastics can last years, decades or even centuries. Visually unpleasant, they reduce our enjoyment of coastal habitats. They cause severe damage through ingestion and entanglement of marine life, and on breaking into fine particles, they are ingested by small organisms and enter food chains.

Raising awareness of this problem across the public is the surest way to exert change, and bring about shifts in attitudes. It is vital that we break our reliance on plastics, and look for alternatives to packaging. It is also important to recognise that where use of plastic is necessary, disposal approaches minimise environmental impact. Targeting the youngest members of our society is the most efficient way to affect such change.

The Project:

This project will encourage young primary school pupils to consider the consequences of their actions in how they use and dispose of litter, in particular plastics. The purpose of this workshop is to make a difference to the way young learners, as environmental guardians of the future, appreciate the wider consequences of their daily actions. The project will inspire children to make a difference by changing their own behaviour, and by influencing their families and carers to reduce their use of plastic and to recycle more.

Project Objectives:

  • To raise awareness of the consequences of coastal litter, particularly plastics, among young people, and to change their attitudes and behaviours in a positive way.
  • To reduce litter in the short-term by removing it from coastal areas, and in the long-term by changing people’s behaviour.
  • To facilitate young people to gain a greater understanding of the ecological dynamics of coasts and the importance of ‘natural debris’ to the ecology of local habitats.
  • To encourage confidence in literacy and numeracy skills by learning through a novel and absorbing subject field.
  • To promote science learning through outdoor activities, through engagement with marine ‘experts’ in novel settings, and through ‘ownership’ of their own science investigation.

Detailed information is available to download below.

Enquire or Get Involved:

To discuss the project in more detail or to get involved you can use the blue enquiry form to the right of this page. Alternatively you can contact our Marine Education Officer by email or by telephone: 0191 208 3066.

Relevant subjects Type of activity Suitable audiences
  • Citizenship
  • Environmental Studies
  • Biology
  • Geography
  • Marine Science
  • Resources
  • Events in School
  • Events on Campus
  • Y 3
  • Y 4
  • Y 5
  • Y 6
  • KS 2