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Ocean Literacy (OL) Princples

The term ocean literacy coined in the USA is now recognized internationally and the Ocean Science Literacy Framework made up of seven essential principles and fundamental concepts was developed through consensus in a collaborative process spanning a decade. See ocean science literacy principles below usually referred to as ocean literacy principles.


The Earth has one big ocean with many features.


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


The ocean is a major influence on weather and climate.


The ocean made the Earth habitable.


The ocean supports a great diversity of life and ecosystems.


The ocean and humans are inextricably interconnected.


The ocean is largely unexplored.

Canadian ocean science literacy embraces the OL framework yet extends beyond its science content to embrace 21st century pedagogy. The ocean suits a multidisciplinary approach and Canadians broadly support including more than science in defining Canadian ocean literacy. As Canadians we are still learning to respect diverse competencies and ways of knowing and specific Truth and Reconciliation calls to action, counter our tragic history of racism and residential school legacies to provide opportunities to decolonize ocean literacy. A vital difference between American, European and other international versions of ocean literacy is that Canadians are working to responsively value and respect Traditional Indigenous Knowledge and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit. These laws and ways of knowing and sustaining span very long time frames and bring different worldviews into Canadian definitions of ocean literacy. Canadians look to diverse Indigenous peoples for important leadership in further developing what Canadian ocean literacy means.

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