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Sea Change

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SeaChange (Sea Change)

Reporting period: 2016-09-01 to 2018-02-28

The overarching goal was to bring about a fundamental “Sea Change” in the way European citizens view their relationship with the sea, by empowering them – as ‘Ocean Literate’ citizens ‐ to take direct and sustainable action towards healthy seas and ocean, healthy communities and ultimately ‐ a healthy planet. Sea Change had six goals:

PROMOTE responsible behaviour of citizens towards the ocean and its resources: by engaging with the wider public in various ways

COLLABORATE with transatlantic partners in Canada and the US: in order to bring about a global approach to protecting the planet’s shared ocean.

CREATE innovative learning resources relating to the links between the planet’s ocean and human health: by developing innovative learning resources related to ocean health.

EMPOWER educators, students and educational communities to help integrate and promote Ocean Literacy Principles: through mobilisation activities such as teacher training and by developing a Blue Schools initiative inspired by the success of eco-schools in Europe.

ENGAGE in a dialogue with key actors of the international marine governance system on the link between human health and the health of the ocean in order to improve decision making and policy development.

ENSURE that efforts to sustain an Ocean Literate society in Europe continue beyond the life of Sea Change: through codes of good practice, public campaigns and other ongoing community activities.
The diversity of outputs from Sea Change is testament to the greatest collaborative effort that has ever been undertaken to advance Ocean Literacy anywhere in the world.

Sea Change has used a collective approach to address the challenge of improving Ocean Literacy across Europe, and to evaluate the effectiveness this using a tailored Collective Impact Assessment Framework. This evaluation focused on the three focus areas of: Education, Marine Governance, and Public Engagement.

Education
Successful implementation of the collective approach to empower educators with insights, training, assets and solutions, and set the wheels in motion for Ocean Literacy to be integrated into European school curricula and marine educational policy. Consultations held across Europe provide unique country-specific insights into barriers and solutions to teaching teenagers about the Ocean. A Sea Change Co-Creation Toolkit has empowered the artnership and transformed them into a powerful collaborative network of behavioural change agents. Innovative educational tools have been created and tested , including online courses, iBooks, educational games and apps. The establishment of EMSEA as a legal entity will ensure that European educators will continue to have a forum to share and collaborate on their endeavours.

Marine Governance
In the policy context, it is anticipated that creating a more Ocean Literate society in Europe will result in increased interest in, understanding of, and engagement with marine policy. Sea Change conducted the first evaluation of Ocean Literacy content in European Marine Policy and presented recommendations to increase this content. Partners held dialogues with policy actors which revealed their level of awareness of popular marine issues, such as marine litter, and investigated their views on solutions to these problems. The reports produced provide a valuable analysis of the science-policy interface mechanisms of global and regional agreements pertaining to fisheries, pollution, biodiversity and climate change in the ocean, and also assesses their strengths and weaknesses. Consultations with 30 stakeholders contributed to the further development of the initial reports to produce a roadmap for the science-society-marine policy interface as a guide for policymakers for future policy developments.

Public Engagement
Over 200 public events and conferences around Europe. Building on a baseline review of the ways to achieve societal change, a co-creation toolkit using Social Innovation Participation and Process (SIPPs) concepts and activities formed the basis for a series of innovative outreach and engagement events by partners and third parties. Events including online seminars reached a total audience figure of over 165,000. Approaches were tested for their effectiveness offering a unique and valuable insight into the effectiveness of innovative social engagement and marketing methods.

Resources such as the Ocean Edge Directory, an online guide for marine best practise and animations, were accessed by some 360 visitors per month and the Web site received 100,000 visits, recording over 500 resource downloads. The networks built over the duration of the project grew from 873 organisations (first 18 months) to 1,534 (30 months). Resources created included 9 videos and animations which received over 130,000 plays. 12 infographics, 7 posters and factsheets had over 500 downloads. Cumulatively, project press releases were read by 35,697 people over the project duration The ‘Our the project Ocean, Our Health’ campaign, along with a more recent ‘Love the Ocean’ public awareness campaign, reached over 400,000 people via social media (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, Instagram and Thunderclap).
Sea Change brought together a diverse group of people and sectors to match the diversity and complexity of the challenge. Empowered as a network of ‘Sea Change agents’, the partnership initiated an Ocean Literacy movement across Europe. The resources and educational tools will continue to be utilised by educators, citizens and policymakers. Work will be promoted by partner project ResponSEAble and the European Marine Science Educators Association (EMSEA) will offer support to science educators and seek to establish a European network of Blue Schools, (using Sea Change modules provided to the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).

The consortium will continue to collaborate as co-creators of societal change at events e.g. World Oceans Day. An ambassador programme is under development engaging actors at the community level. The strong and diverse European and Trans-Atlantic networks will continue to develop via the AORA Ocean Literacy working group.

Sea Change has illustrated that much can be achieved using a collective and creative approach, but also that there is much more work to be done. The progress now needs to be built upon, scaled up and improved in response to the urgency of the problems to be solved, and to catalyse global change at a systems level. Continuing the work is critical to achieving sustainable management of Europe’s marine environment, and to meet the requirements of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the criteria underpinning Sustainable Development Goal 14.

The achievements of the Sea Change project would not have been possible without the passion, creativity, dedication and commitment of the multidisciplinary international partnership, the third parties and the International Advisory Group. We recognise the role of the many citizens and stakeholders that engaged and bought into the philosophy and values of the project. The Sea Change consortia would also like to recognise the commitment and support of the European Commission in sustainable Blue Growth.

Sea Change has started a ripple of change, and we want this ripple to grow, expand, and lead to a wave of change in the way that all Europeans relate to our oceans.