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Author

Greg Allen

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, Biology

Resource Types

  • Podcast, 5 minutes
  • Article

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - South

As Seagrass Habitats Decline, Florida Manatees are Dying of Starvation

Synopsis
  • This NPR article and short podcast discuss the poor health of the Indian River Lagoon in Florida and the declining local manatee population. 
  • The lagoon's health has been suffering from increased pollution, which leads to algae blooms that kill the manatees' food source, seagrass. 
  • The podcast summarizes the article and has a written transcript that is accessible by clicking the paragraph icon in the podcast bar. 
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • This article and podcast use statements from multiple sources to create a clear and concise argument.
  • This resource has links to additional information that support the claims that are made and give more details.
  • There is a focus on biodiversity, the importance of conservation, and solutions to the problem.

Additional Prerequisites

  • There is a strong focus on biodiversity and how ecosystems can be damaged, so students should be familiar with the concepts of "algae super blooms" and "estuaries."

Differentiation

Scientist Notes
This resource is an article and a 5-minute audio news report discussing the recent catastrophic manatee die-off in the Indian River Lagoon in Florida. Climate change and other human-caused impacts, such as runoff, have severely impacted the seagrass that manatees eat and thus have impacted manatee populations. This recent die-off seems to be a tipping point indicating a severe degradation of lagoon ecosystem health. This resource is recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.7.7 Compare and contrast a text to an audio, video, or multimedia version of the text, analyzing each medium's portrayal of the subject (e.g., how the delivery of a speech affects the impact of the words).
  • Science
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-4. Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
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