AORA Ocean Literacy Working Group


Ocean Literacy (OL) is a framing and foundational concept of the Galway Statement and as such, is cross-cutting among all Priority Areas of the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance (AORA). An Ocean Literacy Working Group was established and charged with defining a strategic path forward for Transatlantic Ocean Literacy, to be informed by international stakeholders representing ocean science, formal and informal education, government, marine education, business, industry and policy.

The AORA Ocean Literacy Working Group seeks alignment and collaboration among key strategic partners working among Canada, the United States (US) and the European Union (EU) to support implementation of Transatlantic Ocean Literacy as conceptualized in the Galway Statement.

The vision of this AORA working group is “A society in which citizens are ocean literate and adapt their everyday behaviour to make informed and responsible decisions that promote ocean stewardship in a co-creation approach."

Working together toward this vision the AORA Working Group developed the Ocean Literacy Transatlantic Implementation Strategy (TIS) that has been critical to building capacity for implementation of the Galway Statement and setting a foundation for Transatlantic Ocean Literacy and legacy. This Ocean Literacy Working Group benchmarks progress, tracks objectives, milestones, and deliverables.  In addition, the launch of two EU Horizon 2020 projects, Sea Change and ResponSEAble, has been critical to Transatlantic Ocean Literacy progress. The AORA Ocean Literacy Working Group is integrating Ocean Literacy elements into the other AORA Working Groups such as the Seabed Mapping (ASMIWG) and Aquaculture Working Groups.

The Co-Chairs of the Working Group are:

Anne Stewart  

Canadian Network for Ocean Education (CaNOE)
Ivan Conesa Alcolea

European Commission DG Research & Innovation (EC DG R&I)
Paula Keener

US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)


Some of the achievements of the Working Group to date include:

  • Ocean Literacy Transatlantic Implementation Strategy
  • Use of the OL Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts as a framework for OL in the EU was a critical first step in collaborations. 
  • Identification and compilation of key stakeholders into an online bibliography
  • Providing a forum for communication through organizational workshops
  • Hosting a Massive Online Open Course on Ocean Literacy
  • Use and transfer of best practices (i.e., Blue Schools) that are freely available
  • Engaging citizen scientists (i.e., Ocean Sampling Day and Ocean Literacy videos)

Ocean Literacy Working Group Publications

Area: Ocean Literacy WG, AORA-CSA Report
Drafted by the Marine Working Group Ocean Literacy of the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance