Looking for resources appropriate for at-home learning? You’ve come to the right place. Over the years, North Carolina Sea Grant has published a number of articles about coastal flora, fauna and phenomena. Below are some of our top picks. Adults may wish to read these pieces to youngsters, while older kids may enjoy perusing the pages on their own.

If you’re in search of lesson plans and hands-on activities, please see the list of additional resources at the end of this page, as well on the N.C. Water Resources Research Institute’s website and N.C. Space Grant’s website.


Be sure to check out Coastwatch Classroom, an educator portal that expands on Coastwatch magazine articles.

  • Animal Societies
    Explore some of the unique family dynamics of coastal and marine creatures.
An image of the first page of the article "Animal Societies" Image of the first page of the article "A Song Across the Water"


An image of the first page of the article, "Sharks of North Carolina"


An image of the first page of the article, "Flora of the Coastal Plain"


An image of the first page of the article, "Hear the Call of a Maritime Forest" An image of the first page of the article "Moving Through the Marsh"


Image of the first page of the article "A Shell's Life" knobbed whelk


Cape Cod Bay, Provincetown, Massachusetts Mary's sea beans


  • Molly by the Sea
    Join Molly and her grandpa as they explore ecosystems around Ocean Isle Beach.
An image of the first page of the article, "Molly by the Sea" Image of first page of article, "North Carolina's Coastal Treasures"


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Additional Resources

Lessons in Mariculture

A flow-through aquaculture system. Illustration by Melissa D. Smith.

These 10 resources introduce high schoolers to various aspects of marine aquaculture, including its history and different production methods.

Oldies But Goodies

Below are digitized collections of classic marine education materials developed in the 1970s and 1980s with assistance and coordination from N.C. Sea Grant. Most of the activities are hands-on and still practical today. These free downloads may come in handy during our “stay home, stay healthy” situation.

Coastal Capers
This collection of activities, intended for kids in grades K-3, introduces the marine environment through a series of “capers” that focus on basic skills in science, art, math, social studies and language arts. Each caper includes purpose, materials, procedure, teacher references, discussion and student reading suggestions.

N.C. Marine Education Manual
These resources can help educators of grades 5-8 in presenting the coast as a setting and subject for study. Classroom activities and laboratory exercises provide students with hands-on experiences.

S.E.A. Lab Science Experiments and Activities
This set of science activities for grades 9-12 covers chemistry, biology, physics, physical science and oceanography. Background information for teachers is followed by activities demonstrating basic science principles.

Coastal Processes and Conflicts: North Carolina’s Outer Banks
Researchers and educators designed this resource for grades 7-12 in order to improve understanding of coastal and human processes and conflicts that exist on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Part 1 includes background information on the N.C. coastal region and barrier island dynamics. Part 2 focuses on a specific area explored by teacher-student teams: Highway 12 from Avon to Buxton.

Aquatic and Marine Debris

North Carolina Sea Grant and N.C. Big Sweep produced two activity guides about litter in the aquatic and marine environment. Each activity has the same format: an introductory section that can be read directly to students, followed by objectives, time required, materials and detailed instructions. Extensions and questions for discussion are suggested. A glossary, a resource list and a materials list round out each activity.

Educators Guide to Marine Debris (PDF)
This guide, developed for both classroom and informal educators, offers activities that introduce the three main types of marine debris: litter, abandoned or derelict boats, and lost or abandoned fishing gear. Aimed at grades 5-8, this booklet focuses on the southeastern states, as well as the Gulf of Mexico.

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If you have questions about any of these resources, contact communications director Katie Mosher at kmosher@ncsu.edu.

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