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National Marine Educators Association (NMEA) is a dedicated, influential member-based organization of classroom teachers, informal educators, university professors, scientists, and more from around the world working together to advance the understanding and protection of our freshwater and marine ecosystems. From scientists working in the deep sea to students studying underwater archeology in the Great Lakes, NMEA members are dedicated to making known the world of water, both fresh and salt.  

NMEA is a national organization powered by 17 individual, regional chapters who provide the on-the-ground efforts that support and promote national initiatives in education and conservation such as ocean literacy. Learn more about who we are >

NMEA has a 40 year history and hosts inspiring annual conferences in different locations across North America. NMEA has also recently inspired the creation of the European Marine Science Educators Association (EMSEA) and the Asia Marine Educators Association (AMEA), and collaborates regularly with similar associations based in Australia (MESA) and beyond.

Our Core Values


  • We utilize and provide access to the best available science and educational practices and resources in everything we do. 
  • We demonstrate integrity and lead by example, practicing what we teach at our conferences, in our work, and in our everyday lives. 
  • We continually work to strengthen NMEA as a healthy, fiscally responsible organization. 


  • We cherish the camaraderie among our members, building strong, lasting professional and personal relationships among colleagues who share common goals. 
  • The relationships among members nurture and support us as individuals, allow us to leverage each other as resources, and lead to important collaborations and partnerships. 
  • We enjoy working together and we take NMEA’s mission seriously – we know that in order to successfully fulfill our mission and vision, we must do it together. 
  • Our leadership within NMEA provides links among all members and to other professional organizations, enabling the sharing of ideas, resources, and progress, lending fulfillment to our vision. 


  • We educate and inspire people to understand and value their relationship with the ocean and all watersheds, so that they can make informed choices about their behavior. 
  • We value the role of educators and support them with tools, conferences, publications, and resources so that they, in turn, can promote understanding and action in their students. 
  • We empower the public to take an active role in protecting the global ocean and water resources. 


  • We believe that bringing together a wide variety of communities with diverse perspectives strengthens marine and aquatic education. 
  • We encourage interdisciplinary approaches to our activities and strive to incorporate many disciplines into resources we provide. 
  • We welcome and include many types of educators, and we honor and utilize the contributions of all our members. 
  • We are passionate about reaching and inspiring broad audiences, and will stay open to new ideas, perspectives, and input. 


  • We inspire and encourage our members to serve as tenacious, passionate leaders, both within and outside the organization. 
  • We support our members as they serve in leadership positions in universities, government agencies, and in formal and informal education institutions and businesses. 
  • We drive the conversation regarding marine and aquatic education, influencing policy, practice, and funding. 



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