Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and Purdue University’s Water Institute partnered to bring current water projects and the importance of remediation, cleanup, and environmental health to the classroom. interviewed IISG’s Caitie McCoy about the project, which provided science education materials and lessons to both 4th grade and high school freshmen classes. 


“Caitie McCoy is an environmental social scientist with Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant. She is a liaison to U.S. EPA’s Great Lakes National Program Office and performs community outreach for the Great Lakes Legacy Act, collaborating with federal, state, and local government and entities. Feel free to submit comments or questions to Caitie about the program at

1) How did you teach sediment remediation to schoolchildren?

‘We made monthly visits to the classrooms and delivered lesson plans we designed with the teachers. For the 4th grade students, we used a habitat framework. Young children relate well to animals and understand concepts like shelter and resources. Each lesson (planting, habitat & the food chain, pollution, remediation & restoration) reinforced sediment as habitat for aquatic organisms. For freshmen, we highlighted how contaminated sediment can impact benefits provided by the Great Lakes. We focused on the action of the remedial process, including equipment mobilization, sediment disposal, and community outreach…'”

Read the rest of Caitie’s interview at the link above to learn more about this program, and visit our education page for additional projects and ideas about bringing Great Lakes science and water issues into the classroom.