Ocean Conservation Efforts Lesson Plans, Activities and Resources for Middle School

Celebrate the Best of Humanity Working on Ocean Conservation


The Kelp Lady

Produced by:Anabelle Vo

Students watch the film The Kelp Lady featuring marine biologist Nancy Caruso.

1. A Food Web consists of all the food chains within a single ecosystem. Students create a food web of the Kelp Ecosystem. This can be done as a poster or other type of presentation that can be shared.

2. What impact would changes to the kelp ecosystem on the environment and other species? Students write a paragraph or multi-paragraph essay about the importance of kelp to maintain a healthy ecosystem.


Link to lesson plan: Ecological Interactions and Biodiversity of Kelp Forests



Gwala Rising in the Bwanabwana Islands

Produced by:Whitney Yadao-Evans, Niquole Esters, and Jennifer Shoemaker

Gwala Rising in the Bwanabwana Islands depicts the revitalization of traditional conservation practices in the islands of Papua New Guinea. (13 min.)

360 Coral Reefs - Live below the surface

Hendrik S. Schmitt

Join us on a journey through the Coral Triangle and its magnificent coral reefs. These underwater gardens have the largest biodiversity of life on Earth. (5 min.)

Series of Solutions: Restoring Coral Reefs

Produced by:Center for Ocean Solutions & Conservation Media Group

Series of Solutions explores the heroes who are working on tangible solutions for ocean conservation. (4 min.)

Students watch the film Mary Saves Coral and read the essay about Dr. Mary Hagedorn, an expert in aquatic cryobiology, written by a high school student before considering the questions and activities.

Help Mary Save Coral

Produced by:Miranda Andersen from CANADA

FILM: One woman's effort to save the world's underrated natural resource, coral. (10:20 min.)

Help Mary Save Coral

By: Amanda Molinaro from Irvine

STORY: Help Mary Save Coral works to repopulate the world's coral.

Discussion Questions and Activities

1. How does marine biodiversity depend on coral reefs? 

2. What are the consequences of coral reef destruction to marine and human life?

3. What are the reasons that coral reefs are facing extinction and what role do humans play?

4. What are the biggest challenges to coral conservation?

5. What steps are being done to preserve and restore coral reefs?

6. How does the use of fossil fuels contribute to the destruction of coral?

7. How does climate warming contribute to the destruction of coral?

Research Activity

Do further research on one of the following topics: coral bleaching, coral restoration, marine biodiversity and coral reef ecosystems, or causes and consequences of coral reef destruction. Who are working towards a solution? Write an essay based on your research, include proper citations and submit your story to MY HERO for publication. 




Digital Fishing on Citizen Science Cruise

Produced by:One World One Ocean

Exploring marine Protected Areas and learning about marine science with the Crystal Cove Alliance.

DIGITAL FISHING ON THE CITIZEN SCIENCE CRUISE film. Produced by One World One Ocean TRT: 5 Minutes 23 seconds

Exploring Marine Protected Areas and learning about marine science with the Crystal Cove Alliance.

South Coast Marine Protected Areas: Humans and Nature Together

Produced by:Andrew Cohen / Aquarium of the Pacific

Comprehensive and informative look at the significance of Marine Protected Areas.

SOUTH COAST MARINE PROTECTED AREAS: HUMANS AND NATURE TOGETHER film. Produced by the Aquarium of the Pacific TRT: 13 minutes

The Aquarium of the Pacific presents an informative, yet beautiful look at California's South Coast's marine protected areas and their significance to marine health and functionality. As urbanization and modernization expands, the marine coast becomes more crowded out. The Aquarium is posing the question, "Can both nature and human activities be accommodated and thrive?"

Laguna Bluebelt Marine Protected Areas - Excerpt

Produced by:Produced by: Laguna Bluebelt Coalition / Directed by: Jeff Vasquez

Laguna Bluebelt Coalition brings organizations and individuals protecting and restoring marine life, conserving biological diversity.

LAGUNA BLUEBELT film produced by Laguna Bluebelt Coalition TRT: 10 minutes

The Laguna Bluebelt Coalition brings together organizations and individuals with a common goal of protecting and restoring marine life, conserving biological diversity and maintaining healthy, sustainable marine habitats for all plant, fish and animal species.






TIDEPOOL SCENE Produced by Laguna Ocean Foundation TRT: 2 minutes

The Laguna Ocean Foundation is here to show us the hidden flora and fauna that thrive within tidepools and to remind us to tread carefully when we're at the beach. You never know who calls those rocks "home."

TIDEPOOL ECOLOGY AND COMMON ORGANISMS Resource Link (Laguna Ocean Foundation)

Tidepool Exploration Brochure Link (Laguna Ocean Foundation)

Laguna Ocean Foundation Tidepool Ecology Link

Tidepool Scene

Produced by:Barnstormer Productions
Life in a tidepool.


OCEAN DEFENDERS ALLIANCE / Isla Coronado Ghost Net - Excerpt

Produced by:WalterMarti
Removing a ghost net from the sea.



MARINE DEBRIS Resource Link: Produced by The Orange County Coastkeeper

The Last Straw

Produced by: Lynne Cherry

Milo Cress is concerned about the millions of straws that pollute waterways and convinces restaurants to “go straw-free.” 

1. In the film The Last Straw, Milo Cress identified a problem, got others involved and created an action plan. Reflect on the usage of plastic straws in your community. Are there ways you can be inspired by Milo and reduce the use of straws where you live?

2. What detrimental effect has plastic had on the health of our oceans? How has this problem developed over time? What can be done to improve the situation?

3. Identify bodies of water in your community or part of the world. Who is working towards keeping these bodies of water clean and protected? What can you do to help?



RAINCATCHER Produced by Evan Marks Featuring the ECOLOGY CENTER TRT: 1 minute

Surfers Rob Machado and Evan Marks, install a rain tank and show how easy it is conserve our depleting water supply by watering your yard with rainwater.


Produced by:Evan Marks
Surfers, Rob Machado and Evan Marks, install a rain tank and show how easy it is conserve our depleting water supply by watering your yard with rainwater.

ONE WORLD ONE OCEAN Film Produced by MacGillivray Freeman Films TRT: 4 minutes 50 seconds

One World One Ocean campaign is a movement to restore and protect the health of the world's oceans.

One World One Ocean

Produced by:MacGillivray Freeman Films
One World One Ocean campaign inspires stewardship of the sea.


Pacific Marine Mammal Center

Produced by:Producers Amy Sabreen, Roddy Tabatabai and John McCarthy

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center rescues, rehabilitates, releases marine mammals and inspires ocean stewardship through research, education and collaboration.

PACIFIC MARINE MAMMAL CENTER Film Produced by Amy Sabreen, Roddy Tabatabai and John McCarthy Featuring the Pacific Marine Mammal Center TRT: 3 minutes 20 seconds

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center rescues, rehabilitates, releases marine mammals and inspires ocean stewardship through research, education and collaboration.

Multimedia Resource Showcases Featuring Stories, Film and Art From the MY HERO Multimedia Library

Ocean Heroes - Short Film Screening

By: Wendy Milette
View the finalist films - 2019 Sylvia Earle Ocean Conservation Award!

Sustainable Development Goal #14: Life Below Water Lesson Plan

By: Laura Nietzer

Share the importance of the UN Sustainable Development Goal #14 (Life Below Water) with your students. 

World Oceans Day | June 8

By: Becky Miller
A global day of ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future.
Ocean Film Library
Credit: MY HERO

Organizer created on 7/21/2020 2:41:55 PM by Laura Nietzer

Last edited 12/22/2020 10:50:39 AM by Laura Nietzer