Ocean Literacy Program - Ongoing
Responding to the lack of ocean-related topics being taught in schools, a group of education professionals, ocean scientists, governmental organizations, and non-governmental organizations in the USA initiated the Ocean Literacy Framework. The framework was developed as a conceptual tool for educators to help build understanding of the ocean in grades K-12. This Ocean Literacy Framework is now used across the globe and has even been included in the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science and Sustainability through UNESCO's Intergovernmental Ocean Commission. Additionally, as part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #14: Life Below Water, and Ocean Literacy Toolkit was developed.
A Canadian Context
In 2018, the Canadian Ocean Literacy Coalition began conceptualizing what Ocean Literacy means in a Canadian context, to include diverse Canadian perspectives and traditional ways of knowing. This alliance of organizations, networks, institutions, communities, and individuals is leading a Canada-wide research initiative to better understand Canadians' varying relationships with the ocean and to examine how Ocean Literacy is understood and practiced across all regions and multiple sectors. The Canadian Ocean Literacy Coalition launched a Canadian Ocean Literacy Strategy and Implementation Plan in 2021 with the vision to "take action together to ensure a healthy, sustainable, and equitable relationship with the ocean and Canada's waterways for present and future generations."
The main goals of this strategy are:
1. Ocean Knowledge: Increase understanding of how the ocean influences us and how our behaviours, decisions, and actions impact the ocean.
2. Ocean Values: Strengthen positive public and organizational perceptions of the ocean and promote a greater ethic of care.
3. Ocean Actions: Reduce barriers and increase engagement to contribute to behaviour and societal changes that support ocean health, community livelihoods, and human wellbeing.
SIMRS Ocean Literacy Development
Strawberry Isle Marine Research Society's goal is to increase ocean literacy in children and youth through place-based education and hands-on learning to help create meaningful connections to the ocean and marine life within it. The Ocean Literacy program is supported by the Government of Canada's Emergency Community Support Fund and the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust in response to the challenges presented by COVID-19 that inhibited access to experiential learning in rural, remote, and Indigenous communities on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
This program aims to promote ocean literacy by offering:
1. Accessible & inclusive online/virtual, in-person, and at-home learning opportunities for vulnerable children and youth.
2. Place-based educational material and resource kits for Indigenous and remote communities, that can be easily self-delivered by local community members.
3. Career development volunteer opportunities and mentorship for students and youth in ocean conservation, research, and education. Emphasis will be to create equal opportunity for marginalized groups including women and girls, LGBTQ2s+, and BIPOC.
Flexible and Adaptable Learning to Suit Your Needs!
SIMRS Ocean Literacy Program is meant to be extremely adaptable to suit the needs of teachers, students, and community members while being flexible to work within different health and safety protocols currently in place. This is why SIMRS offers everything from in-person (socially distanced) learning, online/virtual in-class learning, to DIY at-home learning options. SIMRS' expert educators teach about essential principles and key concepts of the Ocean Literacy Framework while engaging students in current and localized research programs, allowing them to participate in citizen science and environmental monitoring efforts that directly benefit the health of ocean ecosystems. SIMRS value and embody the concept of "nothing about us, without us" and seek to work with together with communities, schools, or individuals to incorporate traditional ecological knowledge, cultural values, and customs in this program. SIMRS welcome participation of all children and youth and can easily adapt for varying abilities and learning styles.
How to register:
To sign-up for the Ocean Literacy Program, please click "Register Now" below or email firstname.lastname@example.org