Ohio Sea Grant and the NOAA Marine Debris Program Organize PSA Challenge for Ohio Students | Ohio Sea Grant

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Ohio Sea Grant and the NOAA Marine Debris Program Organize PSA Challenge for Ohio Students

9:58 am, Wed October 11, 2017 – Students in grades 9-12 who live in Lake Erie coastal counties are invited to participate in a PSA contest

Columbus Ohio Sea Grant and the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Great Lakes office invite students in grades 9-12 from the Lake Erie region of Ohio to participate in the 2018 Ohio Marine Debris Challenge “Communicating for a Clean Future.” Student groups will create public service announcement (PSA) videos that focus on inspiring others to address marine debris. The deadline for submission is March 16, 2018.

Marine debris is one of the most widespread pollution problems facing the world’s oceans and waterways, including the Great Lakes. Debris can consist of a number of trash items, from cigarette butts and plastic bottles to fishing nets and plastic bags. When they get into the ecosystem, these items become unsightly beach litter and can harm or even kill wildlife. However, marine debris is also a problem where individual citizens, including students and adults, can play a meaningful part in creating solutions.

“The Ohio Marine Debris Challenge helps high school students better understand marine debris science and the Great Lakes,” said Sue Bixler, Stone Lab education and outreach specialist and one of the judges for the video competition. “Developing this PSA helps them focus on inspiring others to acknowledge marine debris and become part of the solution, and hopefully brings the lessons students learn home to their families and friends as well.”

The Marine Debris Program provides lessons on marine debris that teachers can use to get their students up to speed on the issue and to provide background information that can be included in the PSA. Student teams must complete at least one lesson as part of the contest. All lessons meet Next Generation Science Standards and Ohio Revised Science Education Standards.

Three winning teams will be recognized at Cedar Point Amusement Park’s Physics, Math, and Science Week in May 2018, and receive a single day entry to the park. The first place winners will also receive a one-day field trip to Stone Lab, The Ohio State University’s island campus on Lake Erie, including ferry transportation. Second place winners will receive a tour of an educational center in their area, and third place winners will receive gift bags with products from sponsoring organizations.

The contest was created in 2016 in partnership with Ohio Congressional District 9 Representative Marcy Kaptur, and has since expanded to include districts along the entire Ohio Lake Erie coastline. For more information and contest guidelines, visit

Located on the 6.5-acre Gibraltar Island in Put-in-Bay harbor, Stone Laboratory is Ohio State’s Island Campus on Lake Erie and the research, education, and outreach facility of the Ohio Sea Grant College Program. The Ohio State University’s Ohio Sea Grant College Program is part of NOAA Sea Grant, a network of 33 Sea Grant programs dedicated to the protection and sustainable use of marine and Great Lakes resources. For information on Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Lab, visit

ARTICLE TITLE: Ohio Sea Grant and the NOAA Marine Debris Program Organize PSA Challenge for Ohio Students PUBLISHED: 9:58 am, Wed October 11, 2017
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Christina Dierkes
Outreach Specialist, Ohio Sea Grant College Program

As Ohio Sea Grant’s science writer, Christina covers research, education and outreach projects in the Great Lakes for a wide range of audiences. She also produces online events like the Freshwater Science webinar series and other outreach events, and manages social media for Ohio Sea Grant.