EA launches World Ocean Day resources for schools

The Environment Agency has launched its online resources for schools ahead of World Ocean Day, which are focused towards teaching pupils to ‘help marine life thrive’.

Environment Agency's interactive map for World Ocean DayWorld Ocean Day will be held on Tuesday, June 8 and will see 140 countries take part. This year, the theme for the United Nations event is ‘The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods’ and falls in the same week as the G7 Summit in Cornwall.

The Environment Agency has said it will use its school resources to focus on exploring the journey of plastic with pupils across the country.

The Environment Agency is inviting primary and secondary schools to view a series of online films and activities via an interactive map. By clicking on different points of the map, students can learn how plastic pollution travels through our toilets and drains to rivers and oceans having started life as a balloon, plastic-food wrap, litter, clothing and agricultural materials.

The resources have been launched alongside an announcement that there will be a live question and answer session with Environment Agency and World Wildlife Fund experts on World Ocean Day.

The resources were created by the Environment Agency’s plastics and sustainability team on behalf of the Interreg Preventing Plastic Pollution project, which works in partnership with 18 organisations across France and England.

Kelly Haynes, Environment Agency STEM Engagement Officer, said: “Expert evidence has shown that plastic in our environment has detrimental effects on flora and fauna in the natural world and that its presence affects our wellbeing.

“By supporting World Ocean Day, we hope to bring to life some of these issues and encourage a circular economy for plastics, helping to protect the future of our wildlife and planet. Everyone can play a part in avoiding unnecessary plastic.

“We hope this interactive learning programme will be a great motivational tool for students of all ages, inspiring them to make small environmental changes in their daily lives by following the avoid, reduce, reuse and recycle lifecycle mantra – doing their bit to help marine life thrive.”