Activity: Are You an Ocean Critter?


Students will be able to:

  • interpret real time wave height and sea surface temperature data
  • predict if it is a good beach day


Computer with Internet access
Student worksheet


Some animals in the ocean are capable of traveling extreme distances; others stay in one area their entire life. One factor that can affect animal migration is temperature.


What temperature do you like the water to be when you swim?

  1. Go to Rutgers Coolroom ( and select “Swimmers, Surfers, and Divers”.
  2. Obtain the current temperature and wave height at Tuckerton.
  3. Based on the real time temperature information, and the surf height, do you think it will be a warm and safe day to go to the beach?
  4. Select another beach, obtain the sea surface temperature and determine if it would be a good day to go to that beach?  For example, check out Cape Cod, Cape Hatteras, or Chesapeake Bay.
  5. You might want to check the traffic sites to see if you will ever get there!
    New York (
    Philadelphia (
    Cape Cod/Boston (
    Cape Hatteras (
    Washington D.C. (
  6. What influences human water-based recreation? Do they vary from person to person?

This activity was originally developed by COSEE-MA by Liesl Hotaling and Janice McDonnell.


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