The Ocean Literacy Community

Since 2002 NMEA members have led coordinated efforts at the national level to develop education plans and build awareness about the ocean. The first guide to ocean literacy, Ocean Literacy: The Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts of Ocean Sciences (Ocean Literacy Guide) was published in 2005 and presented that summer at the NMEA annual conference. The Ocean Literacy Guide was revised in 2013 and two companion documents were developed: The Ocean Literacy Scope & Sequence for Grades K–12 and the Alignment of Ocean Literacy to the Next Generation Science Standards. Together these three documents form the Ocean Literacy Framework.

The Ocean Literacy Guide and website have been part of a continual effort over the last 15 years to promote the definition, principles, and concepts across the country and around the world. Ocean Literacy Principles and Fundamental Concepts have been used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in their educational programs and by the National Science Foundation as a requirement to be included in ocean science research funding proposals.

The ocean literacy efforts in the U.S. have encouraged similar efforts around the world. University courses that follow ocean literacy principles are being taught in Australia, and educators in Portugal, China, Japan, and Korea have translated and adapted the work for their use. Also, ocean educators in Chile and Brazil, many Pacific Island nations, and throughout the European Union are using these principles as a basis for their programs.

The NMEA Ocean Literacy Committee made substantial contributions during the national effort to create the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to ensure marine and ocean concepts were included throughout. The committee continues to actively support implementation of NGSS by developing implementation tools, designing professional development, and influencing policymakers.Learn more about the development and implementation of the Ocean Literacy Framework and the campaign to advance ocean literacy.

Learn More About The Ocean Literacy Campaign