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Beneath the Shell

The purpose of this teacher's guide for grades 1-8 is to stimulate an awareness and understanding of the sources of nonpoint source pollution, its damaging effects on water quality and its prevention. Through its use students are exposed to other valuable concepts - watersheds, the water cycle, stormwater, and shellfish biology and habitat.

Since 1970, DEP has worked to reduce the pollution of New Jersey's waterways from specific point sources, such as industry and sewage treatment plants. Yet nearly half of pollution comes from more diffuse sources. Individual actions, such as littering, dumping motor oil and hazardous substances onto the ground or into drains, and misusing pesticides and fertilizers create nonpoint source pollution which can degrade the state's water quality and impact shellfish habitat.


  • This guide was printed in 1991, revised in 1993, and last printed in 2004. Most of its lessons and information can be updated, adapted and then used by educators. Additional research should be conducted at these sites before using the guide:

  • Marine Water Monitoring Program, NJ Department of Environmental Protection

    Bureau of Shellfisheries, NJ Department of Environmental Protection

    NJ Stormwater Program, NJ Department of Environmental Protection

    Jersey Seafood Program, NJ Department of Agriculture

  • The guide contains several interdisciplinary, thematic, hands-on lessons that emphasize such skills as observation and recordkeeping, problem-solving, scientific investigation, role playing and creative expression. The lessons can be used to supplement classroom, after-school and camp programs and curricula

  • Each lesson includes measurable objectives. These have not been correlated with the 2009 New Jersey Core Curriculum content Standards or the Common Core Standards in Mathematics and Language Arts. There are most likely several linkages between these lessons and required learning in science, social studies and other subjects

Division of Watershed Management Logo Target Audience(s)
Youth leaders and teachers of students in grades 1-8

Additional Information
Division of Watershed Management
NJDEP, PO Box 418
Trenton NJ 08625-0418
Phone: 609-292-2113
Fax: 609-292-0687

Download the entire document HERE. (43mb pdf)
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