Compendium of Coastal, Wetland, and Restoration Information

Point and Non-Point Source Pollution

Educator’s Guide to the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary – Activities (BTNEP)
The BTNEP Educator’s Guide to the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary is a comprehensive, downloadble source of information and activities for formal and nonformal educators. Grades K-12.

  • Swamp Sweep (Activity 3-11) - Students conduct a scientific investigation to determine amounts, types, and sources of debris found along a selected waterway within their community. Results are used to make a positive change towards the problem. Grade 7.

Project WET – Activities

  • Just Passing Through (pp. 166-170) - Learn how vegetation affects the movement of water over land surfaces and helps prevent erosion.
  • A-maze-ing Water (pp. 219-222) - Learn how runoff water can pick up pollutants and carry them through storm water systems.
  • Sum of the Parts (pp. 267-270) - Distinguish between point and non-point sources of pollution, and understand how everyone contributes to water pollution in a river system.
    Healthy Water, Healthy People – Activity
  • Footprints On The Sand (pp. 90-97) - Students simulate development of a beachfront community to explore the possible effects of development on water quality.

Non-point Source Kids Page – Activities (EPA)
Topics dealing with non-point source pollution at different levels, with activity sheets and articles. Grades 2-6.

A sailboat tours different areas selected by students and helps students find sources of non-point and point pollution. This interactive game is available on CD for a minimal fee (around $9.00).

Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet
Extensive chart listing non-point source pollutants and their sources. It also shows graphics of point source pollution examples and summarizes the Clean Water Act of 1972.

What’s the Point? Point vs. Non-point – Lesson Plan's_the_Point.pdf
Activity-based lesson with graphic organizer that can be used as a Pre- and Post-test.

Rainwater Blues DVD (DNR)
Today non-point source (NPS) pollution remains the nation’s largest source of water quality problems. It is the reason that approximately 40% of our rivers, lakes and estuaries are not clean enough to meet basic uses such as fishing or swimming. To order a free "Rainwater Blues" educational video contact Linda Pace, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Coastal Resources Scientist Supervisor, (800) 267-4019, <>. Please indicate whether you would like the 15- or 30-minute version. Free upon request.

Pollution – Tutorial (NOAA)
Presents the history and types of non-point source pollution, methods used to detect pollutants, and assess and reduce their damaging effects on the environment. The Roadmap to Resources complements the information in the tutorial by directing you to additional information and data resources from NOAA and other reliable sources.

Vanishing Wetlands, Vanishing Future – Video Clips (BTNEP)
This video on BTNEP’s seven priority problems is in the style of Bill Nye the Science Guy and is best suited for middle school, though the vocabulary is applicable to high school topics.

  • Fish Kills (Clip 5) - Measurements can detect minerals and chemicals that can be harmful to fish. Crop fertilization is performed in ways that cause minimal damage to wetlands.
  • Pathogen Contamination (Clip 6) - Proper detection and sewage treatment procedures keep pathogens from reaching open wetlands.
  • Oyster Industry (Clip 7) - Discusses commercial impact of oyster industry on Barataria-Terrebone area.
  • Toxic Substances (Clip 8) - Presents sources of toxins in the wetlands and describes how toxins can harm the environment.

Marine Debris – Coloring Book (NOAA)
Helps kids understand how to recognize the hazards of throwing junk into the ocean and overboard from boats.

It All Runs Down Hill – Activity (NOAA)
Simple student activity in which a model of a watershed is created to show how rainfall carries pollution into the ocean and other bodies of water.

Turning the Tide on Trash: Marine Debris – Curriculum (EPA)
An extensive learning guide on how water pollution threatens the vitality of the world’s ocean systems. Activities include ways to see how marine debris, such as human trash, can cause discomfort and harm to marine wildlife.

Mercury is Rising – Activity
Calculate the amount of fish a person can eat per month in order to stay within acceptable limits of the EPA's mercury guidelines.

You Can Protect Our Waters – Bulletin (LSUAC)

Basic bulletin from LSU Ag Center introducing water pollution.

Watersheds and Wetlands – Activity
Basic lesson series teaching about watershed pollution and how it ties to the wetlands.

Lessons on the Lake: Pontchartrain Basin: A Watershed – Lesson Plan (USGS)
Created by the Lake Pontchartrain Basin foundation. Teaches about watersheds and wetland pollution.

Lessons on the Lake: Liquid Assets: Our Water Resources – Lesson Plan (USGS)
Created by the Lake Pontchartrain Basin foundation. Teaches about protecting our water resources.