Going further: Sample Activities
Do we really need it?
Use the plastic bags and plastics websites to prompt discussion on the issue of plastics as marine pollutants. Have students think about what other animals may be affected by eating plastics, e.g. Whale sharks and other plankton feeders as well smaller filter feeders.
Imagine a world without…
Ask students to think about those ‘things’ they could do without. Present pairs of students with a hypothetical situation in which a component of the marine environment no longer exists, how would that impact on our lives and those of future generations. For example:
- Imagine life without oxygen - The oxygen in every second breath we take comes from ocean algae, not trees. What if the oceans were so polluted all the algae died and we had to rely on artificial supplies of oxygen?
- Imagine the marine environment without corals, seagrass beds, marine mammals, species of fish, species of molluscs, and species of birds.
- Imagine a coastal environment without mangroves, seagrass beds, nudibranchs and echinoderms.
- Imagine if our coastal waters became so polluted we could not swim in the water and it was only safe to walk on the beaches with closed in shoes?
As a class, discuss what would happen in this situation and actions they make take to prevent these scenarios occurring. Compile the ideas into a class book. Note it is important to get students to think about preventative strategies have them consider themselves as solutionaries – what can they do to help change human lifestyles to reduce our effects on the marine environment that many people don’t realise is vital to our existence.
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