The Litter Intelligence Education Programme develops individuals skills and capabilities in creative leadership, problem-solving, presentation delivery, storytelling, influencing techniques, community engagement, citizen science and much more.

The Litter Intelligence Education Programme (LIEP) is a flexible programme for teachers and students changing hearts, minds and behaviours around litter pollution. LIEP develops individuals skills and capabilities in creative leadership, problem-solving, presentation delivery, storytelling, influencing techniques, community engagement, citizen science and more.

The programme is highly adaptable; allowing teachers to work collaboratively within a sustainability context and achieve subject-specific learning objectives across all curriculum levels. We take a cross-curricular approach featuring:

  • An interactive website, data entry app, and access to real-world data for classroom use.
  • A Citizen Science training workshop and kit to enable beach litter monitoring.
  • Access to support and resources from our Sustainable Coastlines team.
  • Education resource pack including all planning documentation 
  • Inquiry-based learning integrating all learning areas.
  • A real-world context for academic learning.
  • NCEA Education for Sustainability ready.
  • ARC GIS mapping technology to capture the learning journey.
  • Certificates of completion for teachers and students.
  • Opportunity to submit to our library of Action Stories to increase action competence.

We're also looking for school principals, teachers and educators around Aotearoa that would like to be involved in our Education Programme. Express your interest through the button below and we will be in touch with next steps.


Our Approach

Four Phase Education Journey

Our programme is based on the inquiry cycle model developed by the Department of Conservation where the learner is at the centre of learning. Learners form and develop an inquiry to investigate aspects of marine litter pollution and build a depth of understanding through questioning, thinking and research.



What age/year level is the programme targeted towards?

Although the programme is aimed at middle primary and above, there are opportunities along the learning journey to involve junior children in the programme. This is entirely flexible depending on your school and how open to collaboration across year levels you are.

What are the costs involved?

The LI programme is delivered by Sustainable Coastlines and is currently funded by The Ministry of the Environment with support from corporate partners. There is currently no financial cost for schools, although they may need to provide teachers with release time to attend the Professional Development day. There is an opportunity to apply for teacher relief funding for the Professional Development day once teachers have committed to the programme. As there is an expectation that schools will monitor a beach, access to a local beach via bus will be the school's responsibility.

What level of commitment is involved?

As our programme connects to our Litter Intelligence monitoring, there is a requirement that you commit to four beach surveys over the year (including the one Sustainable Coastlines will run with you). These can be achieved through collaboration with other schools, COLs and community groups. Sustainable Coastlines can help connect you with contacts if you need help to fulfil this commitment.

What is the timeframe of the programme?

Our programme is designed as a unit of work which can be run over two terms or more. As it is a flexible programme that can be tailored to suit a variety of educational contexts, it is entirely up to you as an educator as to how much time you can/will dedicate to the programme.

Do you provide planning documentation for teachers?

Yes. Our resource pack includes lesson plans and accompanying activities at each stage of the learning journey as well as a detailed overview of the programme.

What days do Sustainable Coastlines facilitate?

We facilitate the Professional Development day for educators prior to the programme starting. Following this, Sustainable Coastlines will organise and facilitate the Dive-in and Beach Blast activities where you and your students will be supported to carry out your first litter survey and audit.

My school already monitors a site/is involved with Sustainable Coastlines, what does this mean for the programme?

We will work with you and your school to tailor the delivery of the programme that suits you and your schools needs whether this is condensing certain stages of the programme or building on the training and experiences you have already had.

My school is an Enviroschool, what does this mean for the programme?

We love to work with Enviroschools and have good relationships across regions with many Enviroschool Coordinators. We recognise and value the work you have done as an Enviroschool and hope to be another tool you can add to your kete.

How does the programme honour and uplift Matauranga Māori?

The Pūtātara strands (Tūrangawaewae, Whakapūawai and Kaitiakitanga) underpin our programme which supports teachers to incorporate the Pūtātara platform and enrich connections to te ao Māori.

I am a specialist teacher/in the management team could this programme still work in my setting?

Absolutely. We encourage all educators no matter your role within a school to participate in our programme. It is always helpful to have at least two teachers from a school to attend our workshops as a support network for yourselves and as a back up if circumstances change.

I am an educator but do not work in a school setting, can I still attend Professional Development?

Yes! We invite all educators no matter your educational setting or background.

I missed the Engagement Day in my region, will there be more?

Yes. If you missed an Engagement Day but are interested in our programme please get in contact with

Do I need to attend an Engagement Day before I sign up to Professional Development?

It is vital educators understand the commitment involved in the programme and participate in the Citizen Science training element of the programme (provided during the Engagement Day). As the data from our Litter Intelligence programme is used for governmental reporting it is crucial that all participants understand the data rigour requirements through the Citizen Science training. If you already know you want to commit to the programme we can run an online version of this day to provide you with the background information of the programme.

I want to attend the Professional Development day, how do I do this?

Look out for upcoming PD events on the Sustainable Coastlines events page or contact to find out when we are coming to your region next.

Can my school do monitoring without doing the full Education Programme?

As part of our wider Litter Intelligence programme, we offer training workshops for community groups who we can help connect you with if you would like to take part in the litter data collection.

Will Sustainable Coastlines join us for the celebration stage? Can we share our success/action stories with you?

We cannot always physically be there to attend the Celebration phase of the programme but we would love to be involved in some way - whether this is being invited via Zoom to hear your success stories or simply being sent an action story of your journey!

Who can I contact for more information?



“Doing' was a word that came up a lot. Students expressed how much of their learning time is planning or thinking without the practical element of 'doing' something to learn. The creativity that came through was outstanding.” -- Jonathan McDonald, Teacher. See their Action story here.

“We found huge value from both an educational and personal perspective from involvement in this pilot programme.” -- Nick Pattison, Teacher.