The EU4Ocean Coalition for Ocean Literacy
The European Ocean Coalition (EU4Ocean) connects diverse organisations, projects and people that contribute to ocean literacy and the sustainable management of the ocean. Supported by the European Commission, this bottom-up inclusive initiative aims at uniting the voices of Europeans to make the ocean a concern of everyone.
The coalition is made up of three components:
- the EU4Ocean Platform, which includes organisations, individuals, and initiatives eager to connect, collaborate and mobilise their ocean literacy efforts. Members work together and implement joint action on three priority issues: Climate and Ocean, Food from the Ocean, and Healthy and Clean Ocean.
- the Youth4Ocean Forum is a free platform for young people between the ages of 16 and 30, who are passionate about the ocean and who want to make a significant change to protect it and manage its resources sustainably. In 2020, the Forum has reached more than 200 members, 133 of which have been recognised as Young Ocean Advocates by the European Commission for their outstanding and innovative work that contributes to developing ocean literacy and improving the health of the world's oceans and the well-being of coastal communities. The Forum also offers a coaching and mentoring programme that connects its members with experts of the EU4Ocean Coalition.
- the Network of European Blue Schools includes schools and teachers committed to bringing the ocean into classrooms. To this end, they engaged with their students in the "Find the Blue" challenge by creating and implementing practical action-oriented and problem-solving educational projects addressing ocean issues and challenges.
The EU4Ocean coalition combines EU-wide activities with actions dedicated to the Arctic Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean (including the North Sea), the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the global ocean.
The "Ocean Literacy for all" is a project funded by the European Commission and implemented by a consortium of 12 partners across Europe, which includes: ACTeon (coordinator, France), Seascape Belgium (Secretariat of the European Marine Observation and Data Network and the European Atlas of the Seas, Belgium), the European Marine Board (EMB, Belgium), Nausicaá-National Sea Centre (France), the World Ocean Network (WON, France), Ciência Viva (Portugal), the European Marine Science Educators Association (EMSEA, Belgium), Ecologic Institute (Germany), the European Centre for Information on Marine Science and Technology (EurOcean, Portugal), Secretariat of Submariners (S.Pro, Germany), MARE Nostrum (Romania), European Schoolnet (Belgium), and Farah Yasmin Obaidullah (freelance campaigner, founder & director of Women4Oceans, The Netherlands).
Ecologic Institute is a founding member of the EU4Ocean Platform. Between December 2019 and June 2022, Ecologic Institute lead the communication module, aimed at ensuring visibility of and collaboration among the three Communities and its members. This included a) the design and implementation of the overall underlying communication and dissemination strategy for the EU4Ocean Coalition, b) the establishment of communication infrastructures (i.e.: webpages within the Maritime Forum), c) the development of content and communication products such as web articles, social media content, visuals for online and print communication, videos of different kind, etc.), d) the promotion of the Let's Make Europe Blue! campaign, the design and implementation of online photo & video contests, e) the promotion of 2 podcast series, the promotion of various events such as "Designing Ocean Literacy Action in Europe – EU4Ocean workshop" and the "Ocean Literacy EU4Ocean Summit at the European Maritime Day 2022", e as well as e) the establishment of collaborations with key stakeholders and multipliers for further outreach. Furthermore, Ecologic Institute contributed to a) the Working Group "Healthy and Clean Ocean", to raise awareness about marine litter and b) the coordination of activities in the Arctic sea basin through the organisation of an event and a festival and the mobilisation of local communities for ocean literacy initiatives.