Education & Outreach

Education and outreach are vital to improving the public's awareness and understanding of ocean acidification. This includes not only increasing the general awareness that ocean acidification is happening now, but also understanding the current scientific knowledge and impacts of our ocean's changing chemistry.


The OAP provides educational and public outreach opportunities to improve understanding of ocean acidification to students, educators, and the broader public.

The goal of NOAA's OAP is to effectively communicate the changes our ocean faces along with the science behind and efforts to adapt to and mitigate these changes.  Partnering with other NOAA programs, we work to develop strategies and tools to effectively communicate the impacts of ocean acidification and potential solutions.  We host a variety of workshops and online webinars to share these strategies to those communicating about our changing ocean around the globe.




The OAP works to understand and fill the needs of the ocean acidification education and communication community.

The NOAA Ocean Acidification Implementation Plan identifies  actions to extend the reach of NOAA research findings to the broader community through education and outreach. The first step was to evaluate the needs in education and outreach programming to determine gaps and opportunities to strengthen OA education and communication.  The identified needs are now beginning to be addressed by small OAP supported grants and include developing  multimedia education tools and supporting citizen science in various US regions.

Communicating effectively

How can we most effectively talk about ocean acidification science to various audiences?

There is a growing body of knowledge on what resonates when introducing the concept of ocean acidification and what inspires those listening to take action. A toolkit has been developed to succinctly communicate about acidification and encourage community based solutions. Distilling the complexity of ocean acidification to develop curriculum has also been explored. One common misconception the community is working to clarify is the difference between climate change and ocean acidification, because although carbon dioxide is the source behind both of these changes, they are distinct. Climate change drives changes in our atmosphere that can then cause changes in our ocean such as warming temperatures while ocean acidification is directly caused by an increase in carbon dioxide in our atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels to power our homes and cars.


This animation is featured as part of the NOAA Data in the Classroom Ocean and Coastal Acidification Module and is integrated directly into the online Story Map activities. To find it, go to Level 3 of the Story Map. The animation, and a choices game, can be accessed from the Teacher Guide tab and is available for teachers to use as an extension activity.

Communicating Coastal Acidification

Coastal acidification represents a significant environmental change associated with nutrient runoff from land, or eutrophication

This coastal acidification animation is intended to support teachers who are educating students about the causes and effects of ocean acidification and want to shift their students’ learning from a global problem to a coastal water quality issue. Coastal acidification represents a significant environmental change associated with nutrient runoff from land, or eutrophication. Coastal regions are likely to be disproportionately affected by compounding carbon input sources such as runoff from agriculture, industry, and urban populations. The science of coastal acidification is continuing to develop and will require action at multiple levels and on several spatial scales. The animation synthesizes a very complex topic in hopes it will open the door to conversations about the role humans play and the much needed solutions to prevent and address issues like coastal acidification. This topic can be taught in conjunction with lessons about food webs and ecosystems, the environmental impacts of climate change and CO2 emissions, and chemistry lessons concerning real-life applications.

Additional EDUCATIONal Resources




This webinar series provides ocean acidification communication tools to formal & informal educators, and stakeholders across the country. 

One of its primary goals, is to promote a more integrated and effective ocean acidification education community by sharing ocean acidification education and communication activities virtually. With awareness of and access to these resources, the ocean acidification education and communication community will be able to utilize and continue to create cutting edge communication tools that incorporate current scientific and communication research to reach a variety of audiences.

Upcoming Webinars

Keepin' it real: connecting ocean acidification to

watershed health and promoting student action

June 1st, 2022 3pm ET (12pm PT)

Register Here Button - Orthopaedic and Spine Center of Newport News

Dr. Jason Hodin of the University of Washington Friday Harbor Labs presents the "Our Acidifying Ocean" program and an overview of related environmental curricular tools for both inside and outside the classroom. Our Acidifying Ocean provides a meaningful, accurate and interactive educational content for high school and college students regarding ocean acidification. This single module on the website VirtualUrchin was the seed for a series of web- and field-based educational projects connecting ocean acidification to related environmental concerns. Dr. Hodin presents the first major update to Our Acidifying Ocean with current data, enriched content, and an activity focused on student action. Webinar participants will walk away with an introduction to these education tools that brings real ocean acidification research to learners.


CSI Oyster: a community science initiative on environment-oyster interactions in Chesapeake Bay

CSI Oyster: a community science initiative on environment-oyster interactions in Chesapeake Bay

April 1st, 2021

High school students around Chesapeake Bay are helping to solve the mystery of how water chemistry and oysters interact. In this webinar, Emily Rivest, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, and Bart Merrick, NOAA Environmental Science Training Center, will introduce the CSI: Oyster project, a community science initiative focused on understanding how water chemistry and other aspects of water quality affect oyster survival and growth. Where, with two high schools in Virginia and Maryland, they collected oyster and water data for one year. The speakers will share the results uncovered with their high school partners and also share the benefits of participating in this project for the students.
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Categories: SOARCE Archive


January 20th, 2021

Puerto Rico is home to vibrant coral reef ecosystems that support a diversity of marine life and livelihoods. Join Melissa Melendez, University of Hawai'i Manoa and Lisamarie Carrubba, NOAA Fisheries' Office of Protected Resources, as they  share our journey in creating Spanish-language videos (with English subtitles) about ocean acidification, its causes, consequences, research and possible solutions for the Puerto Rican public and island visitors. The video invites viewers to get involved in community actions that reduce other stressors to marine organisms and increase their resilience to the effects of ocean acidification. A full length and short video (highlighting key messages) were created in collaboration with a number of NOAA and non-NOAA partners, including the University of Puerto Rico and Paradise SCUBA and Snorkeling Center, and produced by a local videographer, Efra Visuals.
Tuesday, January 26, 2021


September 2nd, 2020

In this webinar Erin Winslow, PhD candidate at the University of California Santa Barbara acknowledges that communicating ocean acidification is a challenge for scientists, researchers, educators, and professionals alike. Arguably one of the greatest obstacles to productive conversations about ocean acidification is the absence of clear, concise, and consistent messaging of complicated processes. Successful messaging can be established by utilizing language that is digestible and constant across educational landscapes. The National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI) supported by the National Science Foundation established a framework for communicating climate science, and specifically ocean acidification, to the general public. During this presentation, the process and lessons learned in creating visual aids with specific examples of how ocean acidification impacts ecosystems in various geographic regions is discussed. Each infographic has the same general layout and consistent messaging, tailored to each ocean region. The visual aids simplify current climate and ocean change research to articulate why ocean acidification is occurring, how it is impacting our ocean, and also provide actionable solutions for viewers.


View the recording here!

Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Categories: SOARCE Archive