Ocean Guardian Classrooms
What is an Ocean Guardian Classroom?
Register to be an Ocean Guardian Classroom
Criteria-How to Become an Ocean Guardian Classroom
What Do Ocean Guardian Classrooms Do?
Examples of School-Based Conservation Projects
Examples of Community-Based Conservation projects
Not Required, but Encouraged
Does your class want to make a difference and promote environmental conservation at your school or in your local community?
Do you and your students want to help protect your local watershed, the world’s ocean and special ocean areas, like national marine sanctuaries for future generations?
Now your whole class can get involved as an Ocean Guardian Classroom. The NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program is offering classrooms throughout the United States the opportunity to be involved in an exciting and innovative educational program. All schools and classrooms in the United States, no matter where they are located, have an impact on the world’s single, interconnected ocean. Marine ecosystems are all connected in some way to the places where each of us live. So even if your classroom is thousands of miles from shore, learning to live, work and play in a sustainable way protects your local watershed that eventually drains into the ocean.
What Is an Ocean Guardian Classroom? It:
Register to be an Ocean Guardian Classroom today by completing the downloadable Registration Form (PDF, 356 KB) by May 30, 2008. If you have any further questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- is an action-based program for classrooms related to the conservation of local watersheds, the world’s ocean, and special ocean areas, like national marine sanctuaries.
- provides opportunities for students, teachers, parents and friends to participate in a range of environmental and sustainable activities.
- provides learning programs and opportunities that reflect environmentally sustainable practices that enable all students to be environmentally active and committed “Ocean Guardians.”
- provides ways for classrooms to promote best environmental practices within local communities, while at the same time projecting a positive image of the school or classroom itself.
CriteriaHow to Become an Ocean Guardian Classroom
- Register with the NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program. Submit the completed registration form with a detailed description of the proposed school-based or community-based conservation project by May 30, 2008.
- Develop a plan of action to highlight class involvement in a school-based or community-based conservation project.
- Participate in Earth Day, World’s Ocean Day, International Coastal Clean-up or other environmental community activities.
- Encourage students to educate their families about their local watersheds and ocean conservation.
What Do We Do?
Classrooms and schools can manage resources according to the principles of ecologically sustainable development, i.e. reduce, reuse and recycle. The efficient management of resources within the school and community provides a range of benefits including:
- improvements to your local watershed and the ocean, such as reduction in litter and pollution, improvements in water quality, increased animal survival rates, and the protection of ocean biodiversity;
- a sense of community, and pride in the classroom or school, working with the NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program to ensure the protection, sustainable use, understanding and enjoyment of the world’s ocean and its watersheds;
- increased student confidence and skills in making decisions on environmental issues affecting the ocean and its watersheds; and
- involvement of the local community, positive interactions with government and local publicity.
Examples of School-Based Conservation Projects
An Ocean Guardian Classroom can propose a school-based conservation project to promote conservation and protection of your watershed and the world’s ocean. Examples include:
- clearly marking school and local storm water drains with suitable signs, such as “This drain leads to the ocean;”
- covering and storing trash in areas where it cannot contaminate or pollute storm water;
- initiating green waste resource recovery programs, such as collecting and composting fallen leaves for use as garden mulch;
- mulching school gardens to reduce water use;
- planting school gardens or nature corridors with endemic native plants;
- re-vegetating streams and creeks that flow though local areas;
- initiating recycling programs to reduce litter;
- constructing local wetlands;
- participating in water quality monitoring projects;
- recycling all paper and material where possible;
- developing a green purchasing program that takes into account the environmental impact of purchases (packaging, recycled materials, sustainable production);
- disposing of waste water in a way that it does not have a negative impact on local watersheds and the world’s ocean;
- having appropriate practices for the disposal of toxic chemicals; or,
- encouraging students to adopt ecologically sustainable practices at home, school, in the general community, and along the coasts and in the ocean.
Community-Based Conservation Projects
An Ocean Guardian Classroom can also propose a community-based conservation project that may influence the community to question its own attitudes towards its impact on and use of their watersheds and ocean. Examples include:
- working with stores and their customers to promote the use of reusable bags in place of plastic bags that have the potential to become marine debris and injure marine and other wildlife;
- working with communities to address water quality issues with local watersheds that lead to the ocean;
- promoting and publicizing school projects that benefit their local watersheds and the ocean using the local media, school newsletters, school magazines and displays in local shopping centers, council chambers, libraries and the like;
- presenting public Ocean Guardian Classroom displays and performances to inform and involve the school community in ways it can protect and conserve the world’s ocean; or,
- designing educational materials to promote the protection and conservation of their local watersheds, the world’s ocean, and special ocean areas, like national marine sanctuaries;
- partnering with other schools in your watershed to develop collaborative conservation projects and information exchanges.
Not required, but are encouraged:
- Use lesson plans and educational materials aligned to the national education standards and ocean literacy essential principles found at http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/education to educate your students about their local watershed, the world’s ocean, and national marine sanctuaries.
- Encourage students to submit ocean-related artwork, a poem or short story to become a member of Nim’s Ocean Guardian Kid’s Club. More information is available at http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/education/kids_club.html.
- Demonstrate to the community and to other schools the importance of best environmental practices and principles for ocean protection.
All classrooms involved receive acknowledgment of their participation through an Ocean Guardian Classroom certificate, and while supplies last, an Ocean Guardian classroom kit. Additionally, teachers will be provided with Nim’s Ocean Guardian Kid’s Club membership cards to distribute to their students. Kits are distributed on a first-come first-served basis. Limited quantities.