Campus News Georgia Impact

UGA Marine Extension Service and Georgia Sea Grant educate children on marine debris

ED Hose

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Marine Extension Service and Georgia Sea Grant have been awarded funding from the Southeast Atlantic Marine Debris Initiative to educate children in Georgia about the sources and impacts of marine debris through a program called “Reading Between the Lines.”

During the 2012-2013 school year, UGA specialists will visit selected public and elementary school libraries to perform live readings of The Flying Debris, an original story in which marine animals living on an island of trash teach children lessons about local and global marine stewardship.

The program is simultaneously touring Athens-Clarke, Oconee and coastal counties. The public library programs will be open to the public, while the elementary school library programs are tailored for third grade students to meet Georgia state science standards.

The schedule for “Reading Between the Lines” is as follows:

Brunswick-Glynn County Library
Displayed throughout the month of July
Book readings: July 24 at 6:30 p.m. and July 26 at 2:30 p.m.

Ida Hilton Public Library in Darien
Displayed throughout the month of August
Book reading: Aug 2 at 2 p.m.

Participating schools include Greer Elementary School in Brunswick and David C. Barrow Elementary School in Athens.

“Participants will learn that we are all linked to the ocean and that daily choices can have positive, long-term effects,” said Marine Extension Service Water Quality Program Coordinator Katy Smith.

The program will include group discussions and hands-on activities to illustrate how local actions can have far-reaching consequences. Children who attend the readings will receive a copy of The Flying Debris, along with a reusable shopping bag, temporary tattoo, activity booklet and bookmark made from repurposed debris.

“When people learn about the impacts everyday items have on marine animals and environments, they are more likely to make choices to help,” said Smith. “We hope this program motivates children and their families to consider the health of the oceans.”
Participating libraries will receive a custom-built marine debris bookcase for one month, along with a complementary set of children’s books on marine debris, Georgia marine life and recycling.

To register a school or public library for the “Reading Between the Lines” program, see or contact Jill Gambill, Georgia Sea Grant communications director, at or 706/542-3463. Interested citizens are urged to call as soon as possible to schedule a program.

The Southeast Atlantic Marine Debris Initiative is a partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Division, which works to increase the geographic scope and pace of marine debris prevention activities through the use of culturally relevant outreach methods, information on alternative disposal methods, and the development and dissemination of tools and innovative products to address marine debris.

The Marine Extension Service, a Public Service and Outreach unit at the University of Georgia, and Georgia Sea Grant partner to conduct outreach, education and research on the Georgia coast to enhance coastal environmental, social and economic sustainability. UGA is a land- and sea-grant institution.