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American Museum of Natural History


3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Engineering

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New York, New York City


YouTube Video

Climate Change Resilience: Slowing Coastal Erosion

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  • In this video, students have the opportunity to learn about the Living Breakwaters project, which is an artificial oyster reef off the coast of Staten Island that helps to reduce coastal erosion and create habitat for some marine species. 
Teaching Tips


  • The project could be replicated in many other areas to help protect coastlines and bolster marine ecosystems that are threatened by ocean acidification, pollution, and ocean warming.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with the concept of erosion.
  • The video ends at 1 minute, 31 seconds.


  • Science and biology students could research the many ways that human activities are affecting our oceans and coastlines.
  • Social studies classes could use this video when discussing the need for cities all over the world to adapt to or retreat from coastlines experiencing sea level rise.
  • Another recommended video from the American Museum of Natural History is Climate Change Resilience: Cooling an Urban Heat Island, which outlines an initiative to paint roofs white in New York City to reflect more sunlight and reduce temperatures.
  • Students could also watch this 55-minute documentary called Sinking Cities: New York.
Scientist Notes
This resource presents an initiative for building coastal resilience and conserving marine ecosystems and resources. It is designed in a way that is replicable. Thus, the resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 3-ESS3-1. Make a claim about the merit of a design solution that reduces the impacts of a weather-related hazard.
      • 4-ESS3-2. Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-5. Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
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