How North Carolina Kids Take on Marine Debris, With a Little Help

by Dee Fulton on April 17, 2021

Jenna Hartley is very active in North Carolina

Kid Power Emerges to Benefit our EARTH

Submerged North Carolina Webinar Series, April 22, 2021

Join Jenna Hartley, North Carolina State University PhD student and Dr. Nancy Foster Scholar, as she details her research project involving the power of young people as community change-agents on the topic of marine debris. Hear how 2,500 North Carolina 4th & 5th graders, across the state from the mountains to the sea, collected thousands of pounds of trash.

Learn how they delivered creative presentations to the public and won over the hearts and minds of their local officials and politicians across the state. Also, get access to the freely-available educational marine debris curriculum used in the project, which was developed by the Duke University Marine Lab Community Science Initiative.

Jenna works for the North Carolina State University’s Environmental Education lab, which focuses broadly on understanding and supporting positive human-nature relationships, particularly among children. They work to do research with and provide educational resources to educators within the state of North Carolina and beyond. Be sure to register for this webinar to hear about and be inspired by the young people today making waves on environmental issues in their local communities. (This research has been supported by a North Carolina Sea Grant.)

Although this is an educator workshop, it is open to anyone interested in learning more about marine debris and how children can become change agents in their families and communities.

To learn more about Jenna’s work, read the research article, “Youth can promote marine debris concern and policy support among local voters and political officials.”

To read more about North Carolina State University’s Environmental Education lab, click here.

To learn more about the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, visit:

To learn more about the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology, visit:

Register Here for Webinar

>>> Jenna Hartley is a PhD student in the Parks, Recreation, & Tourism Management department of North Carolina State University and is a Dr. Nancy Foster Scholar. As a classroom science teacher for almost a decade, Jenna is interested in the roles young people play in creating solutions. She examines how students may be environmental change agents in their communities, specifically on the topic of marine debris and plastic pollution. Jenna is also a Fellow at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where she has developed K-16 environmental education materials and continues to work with teachers and students across the country.

Submerged NC webinars are part of the National Marine Sanctuaries webinar series and are brought to you by NOAA’s Monitor National Marine Sanctuary and the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology. You can view archived webinar in the Submerged NC series here.


The National Marine Sanctuaries Webinar Series provides educators with educational and scientific expertise, resources, and training to support ocean and climate literacy in the classroom. This series currently targets formal and informal educators, students (high school through college), as well as members of the community, including families.

Click here to visit the sanctuaries archived webinar series to catch up on presentations you may have missed. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. The webinar ID is 770-344-755

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