Pinniped Pollution Project

The Pinniped Pollution Project (PPP) is a grant-funded program that focuses on ocean pollution and its effects on local marine mammals and the environment. This program is limited to 4th and 5th graders and is approximately 2 hours long. Preference will be given (but is not restricted) to Title 1 schools. If your application is not accepted, we may contact you regarding other possible program options. 

The program is free for accepted schools. These schools will need to provide and pay for transportation upfront, but will be reimburse by PMMC (up to $300) following the program.

The PPP runs from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, Monday – Friday. One classroom will be permitted per day.

In order to provide data on the effectiveness of this program, students will begin their visit with a short pre-test. This will serve as a baseline for the post-test that occurs at the end of the program.


The body of the program consists of three sections:

  1. Pollution sources

  2. Effects of pollutants on marine life

  3. How reducing packaging can reduce the amount of trash in the ocean

 At the conclusion of the program students will:

  1. Understand the role PMMC plays in our environmental community.

  2. Describe how pollution can harm sea life.

  3. Explain what they can do to eliminate marine pollution.

Students will be administered a post-test to gauge comprehension of pollution sources, effects, and solutions before they leave the center.

The Pinniped Pollution Project meets these Common Core State and Next Generation Science standards:

Supports Common Core State Standard: ELA-Literacy.W.4&5-1.a.b.d.

Disciplinary Core Ideas:

LS1.C: Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms

LS2.C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience

ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems

ETS2: Links among Engineering, Technology, Science, and Society

Science and Engineering Practices:

Asking Questions and defining problems

Developing and using models

Crosscutting Concepts: 

Cause and Effect, Mechanism and explanation

Performance Expectations:  Students who demonstrate understanding will create strategies for minimizing amounts of non-point source pollution in their neighborhood. They will create and present persuasive photo presentations on the topic of plastic pollution.


School should submit an invoice to PMMC for busing reimbursement, up to $300. Please submit invoice to:

What People Are Saying About PPP

100% of evaluation respondents agreed that this program did an excellent job at teaching students about human impact on the watershed and ways we can reduce that impact.

This was such a great, informative program! Students were very engaged and enjoyed learning about the rescue, rehabilitation, and release program which exists near where they live. They were also able to understand how their actions make a direct impact on the environment. They can’t wait to work together and make a difference.
— Anonymous, 4/24/2019
The Pinniped Pollution Project is an excellent hands-on experience for students in Orange County. To see the impact of pollution on our local marine wildlife is very impactful for the students and I know we will continue to talk about our experience for the rest of the year. Thank you!
— Anonymous, 10/12/2018
This is my 10th year taking students to the PMMC. It really has made a difference. I ran into a parent of one of my former students. She told me that every time they go to the beach or the park, her daughter makes everyone fill a bag full of trash before they leave. Warms my heart.
— Anonymous, 11/2/2018
This field trip is amazing. It gives the students a up close visual of the effects of trash in our oceans. Fabulous staff, very informative, highly engaging lessons.
— Anonymous, 4/16/2019
This is a powerful program that presents the students with a big problem and then walks it back to simple acts that they can do. They felt ready for action!
— Anonymous, 2/20/2019