Over 70 percent of the world is ocean. And sadly, seven billion tonnes of various types of litter enter the world’s oceans every year. This means our sea creatures are trapped in polluted waters. Marine debris can have a range of environmental impacts on marine wildlife and their environment. It is estimated that 100,000 marine animals, including turtles, seals, whales, dugongs, dolphins and fish, are killed as a result of plastic litter each year. At least 88 percent of the Earth’s ocean surface is polluted with plastic debris. Sea creatures need to have clean seawater in which to live. Thus we need to clean up the oceans. Show your support for National Science Week by leaving a lighter waste footprint and help protect our oceans and seas from pollution.

Image: pixabay



Louie and Snippy Save the Sea

written by Collette Dinnigan, illustrated by Grant Cowan.

Louie and his dog, Snippy, are inspired to take action upon discovering that human rubbish – bottles, plastic straws and plastic bags – has trapped fish and other sea creatures in their underwater home. The realistic artwork and simple story enhance our appreciation of the sea creatures plight. Collette Dinnigan is a dedicated environmentalist and her message is the need for more to be done about the plastic pollution in our oceans. This topical picture book is beautifully illustrated and was shortlisted for the 2020 CBCA Award for New Illustrator.

Crab Cake: Turning the Tide Together

written and illustrated by Andrea Tsurumi.

Under the sea the marine animals are going about their lives in their ocean home. Until one night there is an awful splash and they all freeze in fright, except for crab – who continues to bake cakes. Thanks to crab all the sea creatures come together and start working on a plan to remove the rubbish from their sea home. And because everyone helps, these amazing sea creatures are able to go on swimming, playing and doing what they do. An important message about the devastation caused by marine pollution and the importance of cleaning up and sustaining our oceans. 


Garbage Guts

written by Emily Smith; illustrated by Heidi Cooper Smith.

There is a destructive monster living in the ocean, his name is Garbage Guts. Garbage Guts is made up of rubbish, junk and trash that has been dumped into the ocean. Unlike the other sea creatures, Garbage Guts does not care about the environment and is intent on ridding the ocean of its precious marine life. ‘Soon I’ll be the only thing left living in the sea!’ he declares. Thankfully Garbage Guts is scared into changing his ways and instead becomes intent on teaching the importance of recycling and caring for the ocean. Told in rhyming text this is a colourful, engaging and topical picture book. 


I have selected 3 ‘Under the Sea’ themed songs from Super Simple Songs for you to enjoy.

Baby Shark

Open Shut Them

This version of Open Shut Them includes images of ‘yucky’ pollution going into the sea.

Down in the Deep Blue Sea

Crafty Idea

Make your own Turtle Shadow Puppet. This craft is courtesy of the Australian National Maritime Museum.


You will need:

  • Paper template
  • A4 card stock
  • Paper fasteners/split pins
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • 5 bamboo skewers


  • Cut out and then paste your puppet pieces to the card stock.
  • Cut around the puppet pieces again.
  • Use paper fasteners to attach the turtle’s flippers to its body.
  • Tape a skewer to the back of each flipper, the seagrass, plastic bag and jellyfish. Ensure you don’t tape over where the body joins the flipper.
  • Using a bed sheet and torch it’s time for your shadow puppet show.

Did You Know?

There are seven sea turtle species and of these six are listed as either critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable. In Australia it is the Flatback Sea Turtle that is considered vulnerable. Sea turtles face many threats, including pollution, entanglements in nets and bycatch in commercial fisheries. 

Thumbs up for Turtles is a youth-led program that aims to raise awareness about the impact of our waste footprint and promote solutions to minimise our impact on the oceans.