Module 11

 Module 11 Home


Early Years
Marine Education





2A A story ‘A journey to our ocean — land and sea links’

2B: A mud map `Australia an island continent on an ocean planet'

2C Marine education concepts

2D Marine education concept activities

2E Copy of the `Australia State of Environment, 1996, Estuaries and the Sea'.

2F Report Card

4 Children's Books



Resource 2D

Marine education concept activities

Short activities to illustrate the five major marine and coastal concepts.



Participants think of a marine or coastal habitat, animal, plant or microorganism. See if they can follow from A to Z. Keep it moving, allow people to say pass, continue until you reach Z. Eg: abalone, beach, crab, dune, eagle etc.


Participants pass around a folded sheet of paper. The paper is folded (concertina folds) so there are six faces. This will mean that for each five people you will need one folded sheet. The sun is written on the first face. Each person in turn opens to the next face and writes in the next organism in the marine food web eg sun, plankton, pilchard, tuna, and dolphin. Open out the webs and ask the last participant to read out their web.


Participants prepare to draw an imaginary animal, (they will need pencil and paper). They will draw the creature as they listen to a description of its habitat. The animal will evolve in their minds with each piece of information they hear. One person reads out the habitat, pausing so there is time to draw the animals body shape and adaptations. Participants show the final picture to the people sitting next to them. `This animal lives in a marine habitat that has a vast expanse of shallow water, doubling in depth with the high tide. With low tide this habitat becomes very hot and light. There is no escaping the sun. The bottom of this habitat has fist size, rounded rocks covered in algae. Once a day large schools of bucket fish swarm past preying on this animal. The habitat is close to the shore and there are always people near by. At night dingoes come out of the dunes, they sniff at the animal but they would never dare to try and eat it!'


Participants form small groups of about five, to develop and perform charades. They act out an example of change that occurs in the marine or coastal environment. Egs: Rising tide on open beach; Coral spawning; People walking on dunes and not on the marked track, 4 wheel drive vehicles on the beach; Evolution of whales moving from land to sea animals; Migrating birds arriving from a long journey; Mangrove seed washes up on beach.


Participants form small groups and write a report card on one of the issue from the 1996, Commonwealth Government State of the Environment Report. Participants will need a copy of the State of the Environment Report and the report sheet, (Resource 2E & 2F). Participants choose an issue from the State of the Environment Report and fill in a report card for that issue. At the end each group can explain their issue and report card to the whole group. Report Card Headings are: Key findings/Issue from SOE Report; List some of the issues arising from that finding; List some of the impacts these issues would have on the marine and coastal environment; List actions that people can take to help manage this issue.


Resource 2E

Key Findings from The State of The Marine Environment Report

(Use with Resource 2F)

(NB This is a copy of the `Australia State of Environment, 1996, Estuaries and the Sea'. It has been included with the permission of Environment Australia. Further copies are available from Environment Australia and it is also part of an Education Resource Package. Contact the Environment Australia Information Unit 1 800 803 772 (free call).)


The marine and estuarine environments are in good condition along Australia's large unpopulated coastline, but quality is poor and deteriorating near centres of human activity.


Key Findings/Issues

The knowledge base is inadequate for most areas of the estuarine and marine environments.

Habitat loss and degradation increasing coastal development, industry and urbanisation have reduced or degraded water quality and habitat elements (e.g. vegetation, beaches), particularly in the southeast and southwest.

Nutrient run-off excessive nitrates and phosphates flowing into estuaries and bays are causing algal blooms, deteriorating water quality and may affect inshore corals.

Poor water quality caused by high nutrient and sediment loads, is a feature of many Australian estuaries.

Coastal pollution localised `hot-spots' off urban and industrial coasts, many sources, mostly land-based; there is a need for national strategic planning.

Coastal vegetation extensive clearing or serious decline in area, particularly of seagrasses, mangroves and saltmarshes. Seagrass decline is especially serious as there is little regeneration.

Fisheries stocks most are fully exploited with little room for further development; management regimes are partially effective and improving; the effects of fishing on habitat and not-target species are largely unknown.

Seafood quality generally very high around Australia.

Introduced pests threaten most natural ecosystems and mariculture.

Integrated management need for catchment/large marine ecosystem approach. Only the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park has integrated management at present.

Marine reserves a national representative system is underway.


Resource 2F

(Use with Resource 2E)

Report Card


Key findings/Issue

(Choose one from the State of the Environment Report Estuaries and the Sea, Resource 2E)


List some of the issues arising from that finding


List some of the impacts these issues would have on the marine and coastal environment



Resource 4

Children's Books

Baker, Jeannie (1987) Where the Forest Meets the Sea, Walker Books London.

Cole, Joanna (1993) The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor, Ashton Scholastic.

James, Simon (1991) Dear Greenpeace, Walker Books, London.

James, Simon (1991) Sally and the Limpet, Walker Books London.

James, Simon (1990) My Friend Whale, Walker Books, London.

Lester, Alison (1990) Magic Beach, Allen & Unwin, Australia.

Oliver, Narelle (1993) The Best Beak in Boonaroo Bay, Lothian, Australia.

Parish, Steve Who Lives in the Friendly Sea? Steve Parish Publishing, Australia.

Sheldon, Dyan (1990) The Whale's Song, Hutchinson, Sydney.

Solomon, Selena (1992) Dabu the baby dugong, Magabala Books Aboriginal Corporation.

Tanner, Jane (1994) The Fisherman and the Theefyspray, Penguin Books, Australia.

Vyner, Tim and Sue (1995) The Coral Trail, Gollancz Children's Paperbacks, London.

Whatley, Bruce (1992) Looking for Crabs, Angus & Robertson, Australia.

Wild, Margaret (1984) There's a Sea in my Bedroom, Nelson Publishers, Australia.



Gould League of Victoria: Beachcombing; Common Seabirds; Common Shells of S.E. Australia; Creatures of the Deep; Penguins; Rockpool Life; Sharks of Australia; Seahorses.

ABC of Cold Water Wonders available from Marine Discovery Centre Queenscliff Victoria



Ken Davis "Ocean Harmonies" Sounds of Nature Series. CD/Cassette.

Simon Lewis Southern Water CD/Cassette.

An Octopus's Garden - Songs, Jokes and Sound Effects CD available from Marine Discovery Centre Queenscliff Victoria.

Don Spencer Feathers, Fur and Fins, CD/Cassette.

Big Toe Productions Brunch on the Barrier Reef, Mullumbimby, 1992.



An Octopus's Garden Early Childhood Marine Education Resource Kit.

Available for loan from the Marine Discovery Centre, Queenscliff Victoria and UnderWater World, Mooloolaba Queensland.