Online Resources

Fresh Water and Sanitation

UNICEF is a world leader in providing education programs that benefit the health of children. This site is outlines the case for teaching students about clean water and the environment.

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council provides a substatiative argument to create lessons that demonstrate the need for clean water and sanitation to students in all developing nations.

UN-Water is a mechanism to strengthen co-ordination and coherence among all UN bodies dealing with water-related issues, from health to farming, environment to energy, food to climate, and sanitation to disasters. This site features news, reports, programs, activities and projects from existing UN agencies. 

The World Bank Group develops the position first proposed at the 2002 World Summit for Sustainable Development that the international community must be responsible for the development of clean water and santitation for those countries still doing without.

The World's Water from the Pacific Institute ( is dedicated to providing information and resources to help protect and preserve fresh water around the globe including downloadable water data, water conflict chronology and bibliography, and many additional resources.

“Blue Gold” is fresh, drinkable water; something that is quickly becoming a commodity to be bought, sold and traded. Here are articles and news stories addressing this issue.

News Hour on PBS has excellent lesson plans with connections to current news stories. This page highlights all of the links to “clean water” that the PBS search engine could find. Perfect reading for the concerned student or teacher.

The Story of Drinking Water - a fun, student-friendly site. The topics addressed include the water cycle, the water molecule, and conservation of water.

The Alaska Training/Technical Assistance Center presents a manual containing 29 individual activities, intended for high school level students, emphasizing village sanitation; water, wastewater, solid waste and personal hygiene issues. Each activity contains an abstract, objectives, the State Standards addressed, time frame and schedule, a list of materials needed, teachers' preparation directions, description of student activities, extension activities, assessments, data sheets, references and resources.

The American Ground Water Trust has designed teacher institutes around science content assocation with ground water. “We are not adding to curriculum; we are promoting ground water as a bridge to existing curriculum”...

Vital Water Graphics (UNEP/GRID-Arendal) provides a clear overview, through a set of graphics, maps and other illustrations, of the current state of the world's fresh, coastal and marine waters. It also illustrates the causes and effects of trends that threaten our water resources, with examples of areas of major concern and future scenarios for the use and management of fresh, coastal and marine waters.

International Decade for Action 2005-2015: Water for Life promotes efforts to fulfill international commitments made on water and water-related issues by 2015. The site features a wealth of information on issues facing the world's water supply, multi-media reference material and a Kid's Corner with fun learning activities.

Marine Biology

Ocean Link gives educators pictures and lesson plans about ocean life, from the wetlands to hydrothermal vents, including an exceptional glossary of Marine Biology terms.

At Sea provides visitors with a connection to real scientific expeditions 'exploring the ocean frontier'. This site explores concepts that will open your eyes to the diversity of life in the oceans.

NOAA's Ark is a website dedicated to images of marine life; exhaustive and beautiful.

NOAA's National Marine Mammal Laboratory is responsible for conducting research on marine mammals. Search through current research findings or visit the image gallery for photos of seals, dolphins, whales and more! Click here for educational materials.

Save the High Seas: This exciting and student-friendly site is geared towards saving the seas. Students learn how to save the seas while designing their own deep-sea creature.

The Marine Conservation Biology Institute has articles and news stories pertaining to saving the oceans’ ecosstems; exceptional photo library.

Marine Crustaceans of Southern Australia: They may look like your garden variety, but look more closely and you’ll see some strange ones indeed.

The American Museum of Natural History: online exhibit “Darwin” integrates Darwin’s pioneering marine studies into his astonishing career


Ocean Energy

The Minerals Management Service in California has produced a great site with extensive, downloadable lesson guides on energy from the ocean.

Lesson plans from the Department of Energy organized according to grade level and containing some extensive investigations into ocean-derived energy.

Again from the Department of Energy, a more extensive look at ocean energy with a great explanation of the basics.


Fisheries and Food

Manitoba Fisheries, a site that presents sustainable fishing in a beautiful and engaging way

A teacher guide from the Ministry of Fisheries in New Zealand, complete with lesson downloads, games and cartoons.

The Delaware Aquaculture Resource Center at the the University of Delaware, U.S. features a wide array of aquaculture information and links.

Canada’s Ocean Management Plan centers around conservation and sustainable resource use. This site links to many others and is a great resource.


Conservation - Protecting Our Oceans

Australian Marine Environment Protection Association (AUSMEPA) is a ‘not for profit’ organisation consisting of leading maritime figures from various maritime related industries, government, school communities and individuals motivated to protecting the marine environment and to building partnerships for cleaners seas in Australia and internationally. Visit AUSMEPA for educational resources and more.



Current news and issues related to all trade on the oceans from the World News Network. Search by country, topic, vessel or news service to get stories on all kinds of maritime issues.

Ports and Their Connection to the World: a site created by the American Association of Port Authorities and providing downloadable resources and other links.

Come on board a virtual journey and sail with the Pride of Baltimore II. In the process adapt printable lesson plans that address international trade.


Coastal Issues

Environmental Protection Agency: This site presents information, lesson plans and programs focused on the “fragile fringe,” the coastline and estuarine systems of the U.S.

The Coastal Guide to Europe offers information to visitors of coastal and marine areas. Special attention is given to natural and cultural heritage and marine wildlife.

United States Geological Suurvey - Soundwaves: A monthly newsletter on issues related to coastal science and research, and a great resource with news announcing teacher institutes around the U.S.


The Law of the Sea

So what is it and how were laws established? Check out this well-known site for a short history and clear explanation, as well as links to piracy, privateering, and freedom of the seas.

This site is the home of the UN’s division for ocean affairs and law of the sea and has extensive, current articles related to international maritime law.


Cultural History and Traditions

The following are links to only a small number of sites dedicated to the cultures and traditions of peoples who lived in coastal or island regions around the world.

Pacific Region


Pacific Islands


North America

East Coast

West Coast


Arctic Ocean (or Circumpolar Seas)

Arctic Studies Center, Smithsonian Institution
Resources for the study of peoples of the circumpolar north (Arctic, Atlantic, and Pacific)