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50 Ways to Save the Ocean – The Teacher’s Guide

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Supplemental Lesson Plans




How to Use this Guide

1: Go to the Beach
Coastal Clash
Currents: Bad for Divers, Good for Ocean

3: Dive Responsibly
Dive In!
Designing an Underwater Habitat for Humans

8: Take Kids Surfing, or Have Them Take You
Motion in the Ocean, What Causes Currents and Waves?

9: Fish for Fun, Food, and the Future
Net Results
No Fishing?
Gone Fishin’
To Fish or Not to Fish


12: Eat Organic and Vegetarian Foods

The Dead Zone
The Dead Zone – A Marine Horror Story

13: Eat Seafood that’s Healthy and Sustainable
Teachers Guide to Sustainable Seafood in the Classroom
Do You Know the Fish You’re Eating?
Marine Migration

15: Conserve Water
Water Use and Conservation
Life in a drop of Water

16: Conserve Energy to Help the Seas and Yourself
Global Warming
Climate Curriculum for Teachers
How Big is Your Footprint?
Energy Awareness Quiz
Energy in Today’s Global Society
An Exploration of Wind Energy & Wind Turbines
Green Fuel

18: Prevent Sea Turtles from Going the Way of Dinosaurs
Introduction to Sea Turtles
Sea Turtle Science
Food Webs, Part I

19: Use Less Plastic
You are what you eat: Plastics and Marine Life
Marine Debris: A Legacy of Litter


23: Keep Your Household Refuse Nontoxic
Get to the Point

24: Drive a Fuel-Efficient Car, Join a Car Pool or Use Public Transit
Energy and Cars: What does the future hold?

25: Don’t Use Your Storm Drain as If It Were a Toilet
Where’s the Point?

26: Upgrade Your House Above Hurricane Code
Do you Want to Risk it?
Images of Katrina

28: Protect Our Waters from Invasive Organisms (Exotic Critters)
Alien Invasion
Ballast and Invasive Species on the Great Lakes


30: Support Your Local Wetlands

The Fragile Fringe
Dirty Mud

31: Restore a Stream, River, or Watershed
Eyes on the Estuaries
Watersheds and Wetlands

32: Live a Reasonable Distance from the Beach
I’ll Stay Here if it Kills Me
Get Smart

33: Count the Fish: Then Do Some Light Housekeeping for Them
Management of Coral Reefs

34: Protect the Dunes So They’ll Protect Us
Who Moved the Beach?

37: Work to Create Wilderness Parks under the Sea
Marine Ecosystem Invention
Marine Protected Areas: Case Studies
Marine Protected Area: Stakeholder Debate

40: Keep Oil off Our Shore
To Drill or Not to Drill
Goo-b-Gone: Cleaning Up Oil Spills


46: Learn How to Navigate and Read the Tides

The Moon Made Me Do it
Ups and Downs
Plot Your Course
Teachers Notes for Navigating by the North Star

48: Go on a Live or Virtual Ocean Expedition
Ocean Exploration
Underwater forensics

50: Be a Seaweed Rebel



As a child, I spent a lot of time gazing at the stars and I remember feeling cheated because I was born a generation too soon to explore distant planets. It wasn’t until I discovered snorkeling and scuba diving at the age of 15 that I realized there were whole other worlds of wonder right off our shores. And I’ve never looked back.

The ocean remains a largely uncharted and unexplored frontier wilderness, filled with unique habitats and innumerable ‘alien’ species that scientists are only now beginning to identify. The ocean drives both climate and weather and is the source of over half the oxygen on earth, an essential ingredient for all life forms. It provides us with recreation, transportation, protein, energy, security, medicine and a sense of awe and wonder from sea to shining sea.

Unfortunately, it is also at risk from a cascading series of human impacts including pollution, over-fishing, loss of coastal and marine habitat and climate change. The ocean is in short a great and challenging subject in which one can engage high school students, grades 9-12, from a science, social studies or marine ecology perspective.

Blue Frontier Campaign (BFC) works to promote unity and build the constituency needed to enact solutions to the challenges faced by our ocean, our coasts and the communities that depend on them. We are dedicated to providing tools for marine education

One of our tools is my book 50 Ways to Save the Ocean which was illustrated by Sherman’s Lagoon cartoonist Jim Toomey and contains a foreword by Philippe Cousteau. This teacher’s guide has been prepared by Blue Frontier Campaign’s Samantha Elkoni and is intended to augment the book in the classroom.

50 Ways to Save the Ocean includes a resource guide on the last 39 pages covering ways to expand one’s engagement with the ocean, and is referenced to each of its chapters. If you would like to purchase 50 Ways to Save the Ocean for your classes you can do so by contacting the publisher New World Library sales & marketing at For more information on Blue Frontier Campaign visit or e-mail

Thank you for your service to our future.

Regards and best fishes,

David Helvarg
Author and Founder of Blue Frontier Campaign


How to Use this Guide

This guide is intended to supplement the use of 50 Ways to Save the Ocean in the classroom by bundling reputable and relevant lesson plans from existing resources into one, easy to use document.

Since the guide focuses on those parts of 50 Ways to Save the Ocean that are most appropriate for high school teachers’ lesson plans, not every Way in 50 Ways to Save the Ocean is covered.

Each Way covered in this guide corresponds with the appropriate Way in 50 Ways to Save the Ocean. You will find a short description of each lesson plan, followed by a link that takes you directly to the source. Source information can be found at the top of each lesson plan.

Accessing the Lesson Plans:

Each Way is listed at the top of this page as a hyperlink that will take you directly to the associated description and lesson plans.

To access a specific lesson plan, click the associated URL, which will take you directly to the source.

You can also download the full Teacher’s Guide as a PDF by clicking here.

All lesson plan information contained within this Teacher’s Guide were taken directly from the lesson plans. All URLs were accessible at the time of the publishing of this document. Blue Frontier Campaign is not responsible for broken links. If you come across any broken links, let us know and we’ll do our best to resolve the issue. We hope you find this Teacher’s Guide useful.

We are interested in collaborating with marine-based organizations and individuals. If you are interested in submitting a lesson plan for any of the 50 Ways including those not listed here, please contact us at