Today marks World Oceans Day – a day to celebrate, appreciate and give back to the ocean. Check out the list of World Oceans Day events, many are spread out over this weekend, whether it be a beach clean up or a lecture on ocean health issues, there should be one in your part of the world to enjoy!
Seeing as a fish – blue lenses make it hard to see certain colors, and teaches kids what it is like to swim around in the deep sea.
The 2012 World Oceans Day theme is, Youth: the Next Wave for Change. Here are Sailors for the Sea, we celebrated World Oceans Day early at the New England Aquarium last weekend. Program lead Annie Brett, taught kids what it was like to “see as a fish” with one of our newer Rainy Day Kits, “All that Glitters.” We also published two new Rainy Day Kits this week, now totaling 12 marine science lesson plans available for free on our website. Each lesson plan needs minimal supplies so they can be taught at any summer camp, or at home on a rainy day. Please click here to download some of these lesson plans and save them for a rainy day!
Also of note, in honor of World Oceans Day, The United Nations is highlighting the 30th anniversary of the Law of the Sea. This convention ensures international stability and peaceful use of the world’s seas and oceans governing all activities on, over and under international waters. Watch their short documentary on why this important convention came together, or read our past ocean watch essay about the Law of the Sea.
If you are an ocean lover, but are unable to be near it today, check out these amazing picture from renowned photographer Brian Skerry, or the beautiful video below, for inspiration to celebrate ocean conservation!
Sailors for the Sea staff teaching marine science with Rainy Day Kits lesson plan the Dirty Water Challenge.
We are excited to announce two new marine science lesson plans have been published, expanding the Rainy Day Kits for Environmental Education library.
These lesson plans have been contributed by Birch Aquarium/The Scripps Institute of Oceanography and encourage young sailors to develop a passion for protecting and preserving the ocean and local waters.
The Rainy Day Kits lesson plan library now totals eight complete plans:
- A Story of Sand, (new) contributed by Birch Aquarium/The Scripps Institute of Oceanography – students learn about beaches and the different geologic and physical processes that form sand.
- Beach Bucket Scavenger Hunt, (new) contributed by Birch Aquarium/The Scripps Institute of Oceanography – a fun hands-on activity that introduces students to beach ecology and the role manmade objects can play in the ecosystem.
- Bio-Magnification Game, contributed by the Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean – tag-inspired game that demonstrates the concept of bio-magnification as it relates to plastics and how chemicals and plastics can make it onto our dinner plates.
- Clam Jigsaw, contributed by Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies – students create a cutout model of a clam to investigate the anatomy and physiology of these animals.
- Density Currents, contributed by the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science – demonstrates the Thermohaline Circulation throughout the world’s oceans and the relative density between cold and warm ocean water.
- Dirty Water Challenge, contributed by the New England Aquarium – teaches students about their environment in an engaging and practical way. Inquiry and discussion is embedded within the practical-students have to design, plan and then build their own design of water filter. Students are exposed to important concepts from a variety of scientific disciplines, including how the water cycle works, and the principles behind water filtering.
- Oyster Tag, contributed by Sailors for the Sea – tag-inspired game that demonstrates the effects of pollution on oyster reefs, as well as the effect of oyster reefs on pollution.
- Who Dirtied the Water?, contributed by the New England Aquarium – interactive story asks students to take on the roles of different historical and modern characters who have had a role in the pollution of a body of water. As the story is read, each character in turn adds a film container full of pollutants to a jar of clean water representing the body of water.
The Sailors for the Sea Rainy Day Kits for Environmental Education are still in development. By summer 2012, this online resource will grow to at least 15 lessons as new plans are added monthly. Download them now at: http://sailorsforthesea.org/Programs-and-Projects/Rainy-Day-Kits.aspx
When talking to people about Sailors for the Sea, we are often asked how sailing has a negative impact on the environment. As sailboats use wind to power themselves, and about them could be harmful to the environment?
The simple answer is that modern sail boats, from an eight foot Opti to the three hundred and five foot EOS, all make an impact on the environment. One easy example is the large diesel engine on the 305 foot boat that is needed to leave the dock. For the Opti, the coach boat, safety boat and parent boat following the kids up and down the race course burn fossil fuels. Since not having these engines to help the sailboats would be a big safety risk, we educate boaters ways to reduce the engines environmental impact.
On this blog we will make weekly posts under the category Sailing and the Environment about the different impacts today’s boating community can make on the environment. Each post will also share ways to reduce or eliminate this problem.
No matter how big or small your boat can make an impact on the environment.
Share with us: Do you feel boating is environmentally friendly? Have you ever considered the impact of the sport? Please share in the comments below and also mention any topics you may want covered!
This week in the Healthy Ocean’s Project Hall at the America’s Cup World Series in San
Diego local kids visited after school to learn about non point source pollution from our Rainy Day Kits program and the science of sailing from the Exploratorium.
Sailors for the Sea staff members used the Rainy Day Kit lesson plan “Dirty Water Challenge” (contributed by New England Aquarium) to explain runoff, contaminants entering water sources and the water cycle.
Using easy to find materials such as coffee filters, cups, sand and rocks the students created their own water filters. Dirty water made of dirt, sticks and coffee was then poured into the filters. While pouring the dirty water into the filters staff explained the similarity to rain water that collects pollutants on it’s path to the ocean. Natural filters (sand) and man made filters (coffee filters and cups) help prevent some of these pollutants from reaching the water.
To add a twist on how we traditionally teach the lesson plan, we added coffee to the muddy water. The coffee dissolved into the water and the filters were unable to remove the brown tint to the water. This represented pollutants such as pesticides that dissolve into the water and are therefore harder to remove.
Sailors for the Sea Rainy Day Kits for environmental education launched at the beginning of 2011. To date the kits have been downloaded 180 times, reaching 10,000 students nationwide. To learn more about Rainy Day Kits and download the free lesson plans, please click here.