Skip to Content
VIRGINIA NATURALLY

Coastal, Marine & Ocean Education Resources

Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program
Although only 29 percent of Virginia's land area lies within the coastal zone, more than 60 percent of Virginia's citizens call it home. Virginia's 2010 population was 5,044,179. Access Virginia specific coastal projects through this online resource.

The Bridge
Ocean Education Resource Center – a portal for teacher and scientist reviewed websites on marine/coastal/aquatic content, lesson plans, and opportunities for educators. Supported by NMEA and National Sea Grant Office and managed by VIMS Marine Advisory Program educators.

Chesapeake Bay Program
The Chesapeake Bay Program is a partnership of bay watershed states and the District of Columbia that provides science, policy, and educational information related to the clean-up of the Chesapeake Bay. Educators can find fact sheets, teaching tools, and additional resource partners through this online clearinghouse.

Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS)
VIMS conducts interdisciplinary research in coastal ocean and estuarine science, educates students and citizens, and provides advisory service to policy makers, industry, and the public. Educators can find the latest scientific research, lecture series for professional growth, and teaching resources related to marine science.

ChesSIE (Chesapeake Science on the Internet for Educators)
ChesSIE, a project of the Mid-Atlantic Marine Education Association (MAMEA), provides a catalog of teaching resources, professional development, and communication tools for classroom and non-formal educators.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Through Chesapeake Classrooms, CBF provides high-quality professional development that meets the evolving needs of teachers and schools. CBF strives to enable teachers to involve their students in outdoor Bay or stream experiences that are aligned with local school system standards. Follow this link to learn about professional development opportunities available through CBF.

Center for Coastal Resources Management (CCRM)
The Center for Coastal Resources Management, operated through the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, develops and supports integrated and adaptive management of coastal zone resources. Specifically the CCRM conducts coastal resource research, provides advisory services for shoreline, fisheries, and resource management, as well as outreach education on coastal resource issues.

Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence
COSEE Networked Ocean World (COSEE NOW) is an online network of scientists and educators focused on using emerging Ocean Observing Systems (OOS) technologies and real time data for public education across a broad continuum including community colleges, the K-12 formal education community, and informal learning institutions.

Consortium for Oceanographic Activities for Students and Teachers (COAST)
COAST focuses on providing curricula resources for elementary, middle, and high school teachers for coastal, marine, and ocean education concepts.

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ocean Explorer
Since the Survey of the Coast in 1807 authorized by Thomas Jefferson, NOAA has played a critical role in the evolution of ocean exploration in the United States and the world.

This site offers a comprehensive look at NOAA's 200-year history through a series of chronological essays. Also included is a rich selection of historical quotations, arranged thematically, that capture the many advances, challenges, and misunderstandings through the years as both early and modern explorers struggled to study the mysterious ocean realm.

Nauticus
Nauticus is an exciting interactive science and technology center in Norfolk that explores the naval, economic, and nautical power of the sea. Home of the Battleship Wisconsin, Nauticus features Battleship Wisconsin-related exhibits, hands-on exhibits, and national-caliber traveling exhibits for the public, school groups, and professional development.

NOAA Estuaries 101
Estuaries 101 is an online teacher curriculum designed for use with students to learn about Earth System Science using coastal and ocean data. Through this curriculum – which includes interactive investigations, field studies and data analysis – teachers and students will learn about the biotic and abiotic factors that affect wildlife, environmental quality, and society as related to estuaries.

Data in the Classroom
Data in the Classroom is an online resource for K-12 teachers interested in using real scientific data in their teaching.

Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System
The Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System, sponsored by NOAA, provides a self-guided tour of current environmental conditions in the Chesapeake Bay as well as the historic context of Captain John Smith’s 1608 voyage of the bay through voice narrated phone calls to 1-877-BUOY-BAY. Real-time wind and weather information is available through a series of Bay Buoys with different stories of John Smith’s adventures located with each buoy. Self-guided tours are accessible whether on the water or shore side.

Marine Debris

Marine debris impacts quality of life on the shore and on the water for wildlife and people. Preventing debris from entering our waters is a key strategy for addressing this issue, but what can be done about the litter after it gets in the rivers and streams? Explore these resources to learn more about where marine debris comes from and strategies for fixing the problem.

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris
Marine debris is one of the most widespread pollution problems facing the world's oceans and waterways. Learn more about the issue and arm yourself with the most accurate information!

Environmental Protection Agency Marine Debris
Explore basic information about sources of marine debris, its impacts upon the environment, economy, and human health & safety as well as what current laws and regulations are in place to address this challenge.

EPA Marine Debris Prevention Toolkit
With just a few clicks, you can find a variety of outreach materials, including video and audio public service announcements, print materials, educational tools, and promotional items that were developed by local governments, state agencies, and nonprofits.

Native Plants

Native plants possess traits that make them adapted to local conditions and can be used in landscaping and restoration efforts. Follow these links to learn more about citizen education, plant preservation, and resource strategies for using and conserving native plants in Virginia.

Plant ES Natives Campaign
Whether you want to put in a flower garden or establish or restore the landscape around your home, there are a great variety of Eastern Shore native plants from which to choose!

Virginia Native Plant Society
Habitat conservation and public education about the appropriate use of native plants in the home landscape are two facets of the mission of the Virginia Native Plant Society (VNPS).

Virginia DCR’s Natural Heritage Program
Native species are those that occur in the region in which they evolved. Plants evolve over geologic time in response to physical and biotic processes characteristic of a region: the climate, soils, timing of rainfall, drought, and frost; and interactions with the other species inhabiting the local community. Thus native plants possess certain traits that make them uniquely adapted to local conditions, providing a practical and ecologically valuable alternative for landscaping, conservation and restoration projects, and as livestock forage.

Coastal Hazards

Future storm surge, shoreline erosion, and rising tides will impact coastal communities. Explore what scientists know about potential concerns and what community responses could be to a changing landscape.

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration Coastal Hazards
As the coastal population continues to increase, there are many competing demands for limited coastal areas and resources. Coasts are facing increasing pressures from pollution, habitat degradation, over-fishing, invasive species, and coastal hazards, including hurricanes and sea-level rise. Explore this NOAA resource to learn facts related to coastal hazards.

United States Geological Survey Coastal Change Hazards
Forecasts of sea level rise and increased hurricane activity suggest that our nation's coastlines are becoming increasingly vulnerable to the powerful forces of the ocean. Along our coasts, rising sea levels expose higher locations not usually subjected to the power of the sea and to the erosive forces of waves and currents. Explore this USGS site to learn more about shoreline and coastal vulnerability as well as potential hurricane and extreme storm impacts.

Blue Green Intrastructure

Blue Green Infrastructure is a broad concept of the ecological and human life support systems that incorporate natural and built landscapes. Aquatic (blue) and terrestrial (green) natural and built resources include the wide and varied networks of waterways, wetlands, woodlands, wildlife habitats and natural areas; as well as greenways, parks, conservation lands, farms, ranches & forests; wilderness and other open spaces that support native species and sustain ecological and human life systems. The web links below can help guide discussion of blue and green infrastructure that could be considered for conservation.

Virginia CZM Blue Green Infrastructure
Blue or green infrastructure comprises those natural features on the land (e.g. forests, wildlife habitat, wetlands, etc.) or in the water (e.g. anadromous fish use areas, oyster reefs, underwater grass beds, etc.) that are critical to maintaining ecosystem and human health and survival.

Virginia DCR Blue Green Infrastructure
The VCLNA models are being developed as part of a collaborative effort between the Department of Conservation and Recreation Division of Natural Heritage (DCR - DNH), the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program (VA-CZM), the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation, and the Virginia Commonwealth University Center for Environmental Studies to map Green Infrastructure in Virginia. These maps can provide a context of ecological value for Virginia’s landscape.