Washington State Science Standards


The Garden of the Salish Sea Curriculum uses shellfish as a vehicle to teach biology and pollution prevention. The subject matter lends itself to engaging classroom or home-school activities and field investigations that cut across essential academic learning requirements (EALRs) while raising awareness of local environs. Students are asked to take the Salish Sea Steward's Pledge to practice (and engage their families in practicing) watershed healthy habits.  Students are empowered to " make a difference" by taking action(s) that have a positive impact on their environment and their communities.  

Shellfish and pollution prevention are models alligned with Washington State Science Standards and Next Generation Science Standards at varied levels. Tie-in lessons and activities are built around field experience. This curriculum is designed to meet grade level expectations for grades 4-5 and 6-8 however we have tailored it to grades k-3 with materials that are available for primary grade levels provided on our "Lessons" page. The new ocean acidification component provides investigations in physical and life science. This project provides high school students opportunities for senior projects with exposure to real world experiences that can make a difference in their community, linking water quality to healthy shellfish harvest and marine resources. Our partnership with the Bellingham Technical College Aquaculture program connects students with interns modelling career paths in marine resources and environmental science and technologies.

Essential Academic Learning Requirements

  • EALR 1 systems;  (grades 4-5)complex systems, (grades 6-8) inputs outputs boundaries and flows
  • EALR 2 inquiry; (grades 4-5)planning investigations, (6-8) questioning and investigating
  • EALR 3 application, (grades 4-5)different technologies, (6-8) science, technology and problem solving
  • EALR 4 domains of science, life science (LS), physical science (PS),  earth and space science (ES) .

• LS1; Structures and functions of living organisms; core content life cycles (grades 2-3) structures and behaviors (grades 4-5), from cells to organisms (grades 6-8).

• LS2; ecosystems, core content; (grades 4-5), food webs , (grades 6-8) flow of energy through ecosystems.

• LS3; (grades 4-5), biological evolution, core content: heredity and adaptation, (grades 6-8) inheritance variation and adaptation.

• PS 2: Matter: Properties and change; states of matter (grades 4-5), atoms and molecules (grades 6-8).

• ES3: Earth History: focus on fossils (grades 4-5), evidence of change grades 6-8).