Ocean Literacy Principles

Ocean literacy is the understanding of the ocean and our relationship with it. However, what does that actually look like? In truth, the ocean is not so simple. It is a complex and incredible world for of wonder and tribulations. Clearly indigenous communities have for thousands of years had a deep appreciation for our relationship with the oceans and we continue to have much to learn from them. To help us understand and develop our relationship with the ocean, the Ocean Literacy Framework was developed.

Initially in the United States, a community of scientists, educators, governmental organizations and non-governmental organizations worked over ten years to develop the Ocean Literacy Framework. Since then, Ocean Literacy has continued to evolve and improve, being implemented all around the world. Recently UNESCO, with collaboration from leading organizations and educators, created the Ocean Literacy For All Toolkit. This comprehensive document provides content and activities to support ocean literacy education in formal and informal education settings. Ocean Wise has for over sixty years worked hard to advance ocean literacy and these online platforms are the latest tool in our toolbox.

Ocean Literacy Principles

1 - The Earth has one big ocean with many features.

2 - The ocean and life in the ocean shape the features of the Earth.

3 - The ocean is a major influence on weather and climate.

4 - The ocean made Earth habitable.

5 - The ocean supports a great diversity of life and ecosystems.

6 - The ocean and humans are inextricably interconnected.

7 - The ocean is largely unexplored.


Continue to 1 - The Earth has one big ocean with many features. »