Sittin' at the Bottom of the Bay: Lesson Plan

Explore the ecosystems of Pamlico Sound, which scientists are aiming to protect through improved dredging activity and other environmental measures.

UNC-TV Media

Alignment to NC Essential Standards

  • 8.E.1.2 — Summarize evidence that Earth’s oceans are a reservoir of nutrients, minerals, dissolved gases and life forms.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will describe the functions of three essential intertidal water habitats.

Essential Questions

  1. Describe three functions of oyster reefs.
  2. Describe three functions of salt marshes.
  3. Describe three function of sea grass.




Students will watch the following videos from In the Grass, On the Reef series, and should take notes on the significance and functions of oyster reefs, salt marshes and sea grass:

  1. Oysters are more than Food
  2. The True Value of a Salt Marsh
  3. Seagrass and Blue Carbon



  1. What is dredging, and what challenges does it pose for the underwater habitats in Pamlico Sound?
  2. How do salt marshes help keep water clean?
  3. Why is sea grass an important factor in reducing carbon levels?
  4. What are three options environmentalists are considering as the locations for dredged material in the Pamlico Sound?