Protecting The Sea By Increasing Ocean Literacy Levels

How education is turning the tides for ocean conservation.

Hundreds of kilometres away from any sea, ocean or sandy beach, students from countries such as the Czech Republic have been discovering their connection with the marine world.

While Europe’s landlocked states are understandably not so preoccupied with seas and oceans, camps run by members of Ecsite—the European network of science centres and museums—have helped interpret video stories about the oceans in local, often-beachless contexts.

And although the topics they’re discussing are, to many, as distant as the deep blue, this is something that advocates of ocean literacy—knowledge about the role and importance of the oceans—are hoping to change.

Researchers from a project called Sea Change want to fundamentally change the relationship between Europeans and the ocean by empowering them to take direct and sustainable action as ocean-literate citizens.

Jon Parr, deputy director of the UK’s Marine Biological Association, who coordinates the project, gives the example of the Europe-wide Crab Watch initiative, which encourages people to search for crabs on beaches to help them engage with how the oceans are changing, and how it could impact them.

Photo: Prasanna Kumar/Unsplash

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