Sustainable Development Goal #14: Life Below Water Lesson Plan

Share the importance of the UN Sustainable Development Goal #14 (Life Below Water) with your students. Bring classrooms to life with MY HERO's Multimedia Resources and Lesson Plan for Teachers. Includes discussion guide and learning outcomes.

UN Sustainable Development Goal #14: Life Below Water
Credit: UN


Use the following curated resources from MY HERO to learn more about the UN Sustainable Development Goal #14: Life Below Water. 

Discussion questions and activities for classroom use are included.


Films: Sustainable Fishing

Defending The Deep

Will Parrinello

Claire Nouvian led a campaign against the destructive fishing practice of deep-sea bottom trawling. (Running time 5:39 min)

Ending Overfishing

Produced by:/ Directed by: Uli Henrik Streckenbach

Overfishing is a human-made threat to our world's oceans and requires immediate action. (Running time 4:11 min)


Discussion Questions

1. Students research what is being done to promote sustainable fishing practices in their country and other parts of the world. 

2. What would be the result of the depletion of fishing resources by overfishing?  

Learning Outcome

After watching the films, students will understand how humans impact the health of the oceans and the need for sustainable fishing practices. 


Films and Stories: Importance of Replenishing Coral

Help Mary Save Coral

By: Amanda Molinaro from Irvine

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

Help Mary Save Coral

Produced by:Miranda Andersen from CANADA

One woman's effort to save the world's underrated natural resource, coral. (Running time 10:58 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.


Discussion Questions

1. Why are coral reefs important to the ecosystem of the world's oceans?

2. What are threats to the health of the world's coral reefs? 

3. What can be done to protect this resource?

4. Research individuals and organizations working towards coral restoration. 


Learning Outcome

Students will understand the importance of coral to the ocean's ecology and biodiversity. 


Learn About American Marine Biologist Sylvia Earle

A Tribute to Sylvia Earle
Producer: One World One Ocean

A tribute to oceanographer Sylvia Earle from One World One Ocean (4:35 minutes)

Our Oceans Narrated by Sylvia Earle

Producer: Jo Priest

A film about the importance of protecting the blue heart of our planet: our oceans (1:53 minutes)

The View Through My Mask

Produced by:Richard Morris

Experience the Ocean through the mask of Dr. Sylvia Earle. (7:17 minutes)

Sylvia Earle

By: Daniel from San Diego

Sylvia Earle shows us the ocean's fate can be controlled, whether we make the decision to stop abusing its waters and let the ocean make a recovery.

Sylvia Earle

By: Ben Macedo

Art Miles Mural 

Sylvia Earle

By: Edward Ortiz

"The key is to see ourselves as a part of the natural systems that support us."

Sylvia Earle Ocean Conservation Award
Credit: Hodinkee


Discussion Questions

1. Sylvia Earle believes that we should all care about the health of the oceans because our lives depend on them. In what ways do humans depend on the oceans?  

2. How does Sylvia Earle explain the ocean as a living system?

3. Sylvia Earle was the first woman to be a chief scientist at NOAA. Do you know someone who was the first of their gender, race or family to achieve something? What obstacles did they face and how did they overcome them? 

Learning Outcomes

Students will develop an understanding of how humans are not only dependent on, but also connected to the health of world's oceans. 


Films About Individuals Working to Keep Water Clean and Protect Life Below Water

The Arctic Garden

Produced by:Will Parinello/Tom Dusenberry

Caroline Cannon, an Inupiat indigenous leader, takes aim at offshore oil drilling that threatens her people and the biodiversity in the Arctic Sea.

The Last Straw

Produced by: Lynne Cherry

Milo Cress is concerned about the millions of straws that pollute waterways, waste fossil-fuel resource and harm ocean creatures. He convinces restaurants to “go straw-free.” 

Plastic Plague

Produced by:Jody Lemmon

Plastic pollution is threatening the ocean's ecosystems, but we can work together to prevent further damage!

My trip to Catalina Island

Produced by:Slater Jewell-Kemker

Slater journeys to Catalina Island to interview her Environmental Hero Jean-Michel Cousteau.

Jean-Michel Cousteau

By: Slater

Jean-Michel Cousteau is committed to protecting the ocean for future generations through education and conservation.

Invisible Ocean: Plankton & Plastic

Produced by:Emily Driscoll

This doc follows NYC sci-artist Mara G. Haseltine as she creates a sculpture to reveal a microscopic threat beneath the surface of the ocean.


Discussion Questions

1. Which of the films left an impression on you or surprised you?

2. 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?

3. 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?

4. 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?



Students can share their Hero Essays, Films and Art through our Create Program.

Who is your activist hero or organization working to protect and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development?

Share their story with MY HERO.


Outstanding essays submitted to MY HERO will be considered for a certificate/t-shirt prize or be featured on the Story Homepage.

Submit your artwork to be entered in the MY HERO art contest or to be exhibited on our Gallery Homepage.

Students can submit their films for free with a waiver to the MY HERO International Film Festival.


Related Links and Resources

UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 Link
Credit: UN

Know Your Seafood- Sustainable fish choices

By: One World One Ocean
Sustainable seafood poster designed by One World One Ocean


Laura Nietzer

This lesson plan was created by MY HERO Education Outreach Director Laura Nietzer.

Learn about a New Hero Every Day of the Year: Use the MY HERO Calendar in the Classroom

Organizer created on 11/6/2019 3:31:06 PM by Laura Nietzer

Last edited 12/22/2020 11:26:17 AM by Laura Nietzer