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  • Marine stressors can come from natural, unexpected events such as erosion from an earthquake or slip, but many stressors are linked to human activities.

    Most marine ecosystems are resilient, but stressors can build up and lead to a tipping point – the point at which an ecosystem loses its capacity to cope with change. Tipping points are rapid transformations and generally result in an ecosystem moving from something of value to one less valued. At the moment, New Zealand is managing its marine resources at limits set by a single stressor in isolation such as sediment loading. This puts the resiliency of an ecosystem to cope with change at risk when affected by additional stressors such as harvesting or climate change.

    In this activity, students use online or paper resources to identify potential human-induced marine stressors. Students can then use this information to consider steps they can take as individuals or as part of the school or community to help reduce the stress.

    By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

    • identify marine stressors linked to human activities
    • use online resources to learn more about marine stressors
    • identify actions they can take to minimise stressors.

    Download the Word file (see link below) for:

    • background information for teachers
    • student instructions.

    Related content

    This activity supports our Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge resources.

    The interactive Threats to marine habitats uses infographics to explain the impacts human activities are having on life in the sea.

      Published 5 March 2018 Referencing Hub articles
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