Dr Emma McKinley, Nicola Bridge & Scott Xavi Gudrich
March 2023

#IESTurningTheTide - Ocean Literacy: how to change humanity's relationship with the ocean

View from the sea floor looking up towards a ray of light at the surface.

Challenge 10 of the UN Ocean Decade calls for us to 'Change humanity’s relationship with the ocean'. Achieving this behavioral change will come about through giving everyone the opportunity to learn and understand how our individual and collective actions are linked to the ocean, building emotional connections that lead people to act in ways that are positive for the ocean.

Contributing to these goals, in this Forum we heard from three experts on ocean literacy who shared their insights and approaches to communicating knowledge about the ocean, followed by a Q&A session. Dr Emma McKinley opened the session, giving a history of the concept of ocean literacy and presenting recent research on 10 dimensions of ocean literacy, expanding on previously recognised dimensions. Nicola Bridge then covered the future of ocean literacy, as well as the current work being undertaken in the UK to understand societal perceptions of the ocean and how we can use this information to encourage people to find their ocean connection and take action to protect it. Finally Scott Xavi Gudrich talked about the work he delivered through the Plover Rovers' 'Talking the Coast' outreach project, which brought the marine science community together with coastal artists and citizens with the aim to increase both ocean literacy and ocean empathy.

This event was organised as part of our Turning the Tide: systems thinking for a sustainable ocean project. Join our dedicated mailing list to stay up to date on future project activities and hear about ways to collaborate.