Contact: Gene Louden
NOAA News Releases 2005
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A new online educational product, The Nonpoint Source Pollution Discovery Kit, is now available online. The kit explains the history of pollution, the differences between point and nonpoint source pollution, types of pollutants, and how scientists monitor, assess and control nonpoint source pollution. This online educational product is one of five Web-based Discovery Kits from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Ocean Service

“The educational tools on the Discovery Center make complex science more accessible to students and show how NOAA’s products and services address these issues,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., PhD, under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator.

The kits are written in plain language and a “student-friendly style,” with ample use of multimedia features to visually illustrate difficult concepts. They are designed for the high school level, but can be easily adapted for middle school and even college undergraduate levels.

Like all the Discovery Kits, the Nonpoint Source Pollution Kit includes three components:

A multi-chapter tutorial explaining the history of pollution, the differences between point source and nonpoint source, and the most common origins of nonpoint source pollution. It also describes in detail the types of pollutants that end up in nonpoint source runoff, and how scientists are monitoring and assessing the effects of these pollutants on ecosystems. Finally, the tutorial explains how nonpoint source pollution can be controlled. The tutorial is fully referenced.

A Roadmap to Resources—a set of annotated Web site references that direct educators and students to specific data and information offered by NOS, NOAA and non-NOAA organizations, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey and state natural resource agencies.

Lesson plans that are correlated with National Science Education Standards and targeted to educators at the high school level. Each lesson plan combines tutorial content with data offerings listed in the Roadmap.

The “Discovery Kits,” are part of the NOS Education Discovery Center. The center also includes “Discovery Stories,” which are comprehensive case studies, and the “Discovery Classroom,” a growing library of lesson plans designed for use in the classroom. The Discovery Center is available at

The new Nonpoint Source Pollution Discovery Kit joins four other Discovery Kits - on corals, tides and water levels, geodesy, and estuaries. It also complements the two existing Discovery Stories that cover lionfish and the recovery of Alaska’s Prince William Sound after the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

NOAA’s National Ocean Service is dedicated to exploring, understanding, conserving and restoring the nation’s coasts and oceans. It balances environmental protection with economic prosperity in fulfilling its mission of promoting safe navigation, supporting coastal communities, sustaining coastal habitats and mitigating coastal hazards.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners and nearly 60 countries to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes.

On the Web:


NOAA National Ocean Service:

National Ocean Service Education Discovery Center:

Nonpoint Source Pollution Discovery Kit: