- Recognize the value of coastal habitats, such as salt marshes, mudflats, and kelp forests, to wildlife and people;
- understand the relationship between ocean health and human activities that occurs both inland and along coasts;
- discover the ways in which fresh- and salt-water bodies serve as interconnections in the global ecosystem;
- develop a positive attitude toward oceans and aquatic life forms and become inspired to protect them;
- collect data and organize information relating to ocean health;
- cultivate a sense of responsible stewardship toward the world’s oceans by completing conservation projects; and
- work in partnership with schools elsewhere in Canada and the world, while facilitating cooperation between their own schools and communities.
- Adapt activities and projects to conditions in your part of Canada.
- Encourage students to set long- and short-term goals and to work toward them by informing themselves about ocean issues, then completing suitable projects.
- Photocopy resource sheets, classroom activities, and projects from this booklet.
- Get permission from landowners or your municipality and check with an area bylaws inspector before undertaking projects on shorelines.
- Ensure the durability of projects by getting more than one grade involved and by working together with community groups.
- Post weatherproof signs at project sites to inform passers-by of your conservation objectives.
- Maximize safety by working in small groups and by recruiting older students, parents, or volunteers.
- Collaborate with experts, such as conservation officers and biologists, who can tackle duties requiring special skills or hazardous chores such as entering water.
- See that students wear appropriate clothing and footgear.
- Take extra care when working near water.
- Remember to bring sunscreen, insect repellent, a first aid kit, and an Epipen; youngsters should pack any special medication they might need.
The Habitat 2020 Connection
This ocean education kit is closely linked with Habitat 2020, another CWF conservation education program. Through Habitat 2020, young people learn about conservation principles by completing wildlife projects in their schoolyards and communities under the supervision of a teacher or youth-group leader. This year’s kit teaches youngsters about the immense ecological value of freshwater shorelines as well as human impacts on them.
- Assign the resource sheet “Oceans Day" to students as homework or as a classroom reading activity.
- On the basis of the reading, discuss the meaning of Oceans Day to Canada as a nation with three marine coasts; the vital importance of marine ecosystems to living things; how aquatic habitats, like freshwater and marine shorelines, serve as links that hold the global ecosystem together; the dependence of migratory species on these international links; human impacts, such as marine debris and pollution, on the world’s oceans; how doing the projects in this booklet can raise students' awareness of oceans issues and help them restore marine ecosystems while becoming a Blue School.
- For each thematic section in resource sheets such as " Preserve Our Aquatic Heritage", introduce conservation concepts to students through ocean awareness activities. Students will then form a vision of what they can do to help solve specific aquatic problems.
- After identifying problems and exploring solutions, have students choose suitable action projects.
- Get permission from parents and your principal, as well as your municipality or landowners, before undertaking projects on waterfronts. Ask a local bylaws inspector or conservation authority if there are regulations that you must follow.
- Tackle one or more ocean action project
s, ideally working in cooperation with your community and in partnership with a coastal or inland school elsewhere in Canada or to the south.
- After implementing projects, follow up with exercises to confirm that educational objectives have been met. See "Evaluation" below.
Here are some ideas to determine if students have achieved learning outcomes:
Design a "model" shoreline. Create a mural or a model of a salt-marsh, beach, or other coastal environments, including a variety of interdependent species, plus sun, soil, water, and air, to illustrate the interconnections in a healthy food web.
Explore ocean links. Describe how you are connected with the world’s oceans by researching human dependency on marine resources, such as food and minerals, as well as other uses like transportation and recreation.
Give a speech. Discuss why coastal regions are among the world’s most productive ecosystems or five reasons why they are critical to wildlife and humans.
Hold a round table on oceans issues. Conduct a debate about a particular marine problem, such as the impact of long-range pollutants on the Arctic Ocean.
Write a poem or story. Suggested approaches might include a beluga’s perspective on global warming or a sea turtles-eye-view of marine debris.
Do a research project. Study an issue, such as the decline of coastal marshes.
Interview an auk. Role-play an interview between a reporter and an extinct or endangered marine species, such as the great auk or right whale.
Write a state of the coastal environment report. Analyze the health of an adopted shoreline on the basis of ecological problems observed and conservation efforts undertaken by your school and community.
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