We have many resources to help you get started on your project, including those for learning more about marine debris and climate change impacts on our oceans, links to organizations working on these issues, and much more!
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Dive Into the Issues
- Window to Save World’s Coral Reefs Closing Rapidly
- Feeling the Heat: How Fish Are Migrating from Warming Waters
- Ice is us: Alaska Natives face the demise of the Arctic ice pack
- Alien Waters: Neighboring Seas Are Flowing into a Warming Arctic Ocean
- Rising seas give island nation a stark choice: relocate or elevate
Watch & Learn
- Weather vs. Climate Change, Explained
- The Case for Optimism on Climate Change (TED Talk)
- The Sink or Swim Project (TED Talk)
- Thermal Expansion – The Dance of Rising Oceans
- Do the Math, The Movie
- Now is the Time to Talk About Climate Change
Climate and Art Intersections
View more on the Inspiration page.
Connect and Take Action
There are many organizations around the world doing great work on climate change. These are some of our favorites. Follow their work and check out their lists of resources!
- Alliance for Climate Education
- Climate Central
- Union of Concerned Scientists
- Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
- Eat a low-carbon diet. The food you buy may have a large global footprint. About 33% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from agricultural practices, land use changes, and deforestation. The global livestock industry produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all cars, planes, trains, and ships combined, so you can make a big difference by reducing your consumption of red meat and eating more local, organic, plant-based meals. Start with “Meatless Mondays”!
- Change how you move. Almost 30% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. comes from transportation. Decrease your personal carbon footprint by walking, biking, and using mass transit whenever possible, or carpool with your friends and neighbors.
- Consume less. Buy minimally packaged goods and avoid single-use plastics, which require a lot of energy to produce and ship. Buy locally produced items when possible. Recycle when possible; reuse or repurpose items to divert waste from your local landfill.
- Think about waste. Solid waste landfills are the single largest man-made source of methane (a greenhouse gas) in the U.S. Expand, promote, and support recycling initiatives in your school and community. Participate in or help create a composting program.
- Support green energy. Look into whether your local utilities supplier offers a green power option, and talk to your parents about making the switch.
- Start conversations. According to the Yale Program on Climate Communication, more than half of Americans who are interested in climate change or think the issue is important “rarely” or “never” talk about it with family and friends. Let’s talk about it!
- Advocate for climate change policy. Write a letter to local, regional, and national officials and let them know that climate action is important to you. Share stories about how climate change affects you personally, and express the urgency of the issue.
- Organize. Whether you start a sustainability group at school, host a climate education event, or volunteer with a local nonprofit, there are many ways to create community around climate solutions.
- Share the Contest. We want you to use your creative voice and passion to speak up for our blue planet. Share our programs with the other ocean lovers you know! By giving young people an opportunity to express their ideas and think creatively about ocean conservation, we hope to create a wave of action around the world.
Begin Your Research
- NOAA Marine Debris Program: Discover the Issue
Comprehensive overview on marine debris, including types and sources, movement, impacts, and solutions.
- Ocean Today, in partnership with the NOAA Marine Debris Program: TRASH TALK
Regional Emmy Award-winning, 15-minute feature on marine debris.
- Environmental Science Journal for Kids: Where Did My Plastic Go?
Scientists are detecting the distribution of plastic waste around the world’s oceans.
- Environmental Science Journal for Kids: How Can We Clean Up Plastic in the Ocean?
Scientists research the best places for plastic-removing devices in the oceans.
Here is just a handful of the many organizations working on marine debris issues around the world! Do research to see if there’s an organization working on the problem in your local community.