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The Nation


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


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type

  • Videos, 5 minutes, 1 second, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New Jersey, Central Jersey, North Jersey


YouTube Video

The Sea Is Moving in on New Jersey's Biggest Landfill

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  • This video shows students that some landfills in New Jersey will likely be partially underwater or completely underwater in this century. 
  • The video identifies that the Meadowlands area and the Middlesex County landfill are both at risk of inundation due to sea level rise. 
Teaching Tips


  • Large font text accompanies the narration and there are many clips of the trash sites discussed in the video.
  • The aerial maps showing how far inland the ocean will come at high tide are very helpful.

Additional Prerequisites

  • There are ads before the video.
  • The video discusses Superstorm Sandy, so you may want to provide some information about that hurricane for context.


  • Social studies and civics classes could use this video to discuss the role of governments and regulations to protect the public and plan for natural disasters.
  • Science classes could use this video as a hook for lessons about sea level rise, decomposition, coastal ecosystems, and water pollution.
  • This video brings up a social justice topic that could be explored further: landfill locations and waste management in New Jersey and around the world.
  • Other resources to consider on this topic include this #Trashtag article, this interactive resource about living within the planet's boundaries, and this interactive mapping tool by the Nature Conservancy.
Scientist Notes
This video spotlights two scenarios on the impact of sea level rise on landfills in New Jersey. In a changing climate and as shown in the two models, the maps provide critical information for efficient coastal planning and management of sea level rise in New Jersey's coastal communities. This 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
      • MS-ESS3-2. Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.
  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.II.6.2 Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
      • SL.ES.11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
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