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Sea Change

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SeaChange (Sea Change)

Reporting period: 2015-03-01 to 2016-08-31

The overarching goals of the Sea Change project are 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.

Key objectives of Sea Change are to:

• Compile an in‐depth review of the links between Seas and Ocean and Human health based on latest research knowledge outputs

• Build upon the latest social research on citizen and stakeholder attitudes, perceptions and values to help design and implement successful mobilisation activities focused on education, community, governance actors and directly targeted at citizens

• Build upon significant work to date, adopting best practice and embedding Ocean Literacy across established strategic initiatives and networks in order to help maximise impact and ensure sustainability

• 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.

• Ensure that all activities of Sea Change are carefully monitored and evaluated to ensure maximum sustainability, effectiveness and efficiency

• Ensure Knowledge exchange with transatlantic partners to bring about a global approach to protecting the planet’s shared seas and ocean.

The objectives will be achieved by a closely interlinked programme. Sea Change includes a mobilisation phase engaging with citizens, formal education and policy actors. Crucially the legacy of Sea Change, including continuing knowledge sharing with North America, is embedded within the project.
Sea Change has delivered over the first 18 month period significant outputs and laid the ground for further development as we enter the second phase. The project began with an extensive review of current research and the links to Ocean Literacy within marine formal education, marine governance, ways of achieving societal change and routes of engagement.

To help the audience understand the meaning of Ocean Literacy a short animation (available on the Sea Change Vimeo channel) and accompanying leaflet have been produced and widely disseminated. A second animation explains the inextricable link between Ocean and human health focusing on 5 keys areas: Planet earth’s life support system, Seafood, Marine pollution, Medicine and mental wellbeing. Factsheets on each of these subjects provide further information and references.

The co-creation of activities within the mobilisation work packages i.e. consultation between Sea Change partners and the target audience is key to bringing about a Sea Change in citizens understanding of our seas and ocean. A set of Social Innovation Participation Principles (SIPPs) have been developed and Sea Change partners have been trained in using these Principles during stakeholder consultations. The first of these consultations was conducted in 8 European countries where education stakeholders were invited to answer the question ‘What are the barriers to teaching 12 – 19 year olds about the ocean?’ The SIPPs methodology is also being used in consultations with policy makers and the design of innovative public events which will take place in the second phase of the project.
Sea Change has delivered two competitions. The first was the ‘Think Big, Think Ocean’ challenge where citizens were asked to submit a short video on their ideas for an Ocean event with the best idea in each of the 6 countries being developed further for events planned in 2017. The second was a Coderdojo gaming competition called ‘Future Ocean’. Students aged between 7 and 18 years old used ‘coding’ to produce amazing games to highlight contemporary ocean issues.

An online searchable directory on Ocean Literacy related education and outreach resources has been developed (the Ocean EDGE Directory). There are 133 resources in the Directory which is presently undergoing testing to ensure usability and assessment of available resources.

The Our Ocean Our Health Public Campaign was launched in July 2016 with the first of three short films to raise awareness of the interconnectedness of seas, ocean and human health in European citizens. The first film entitled ‘Our Ocean Our Oxygen’ highlights the significance of the ocean for human life. To support the Campaign the Sea Change website has a page where people can ‘take action’ to help protect our seas and ocean by taking some simple steps to reduce their impact.

Throughout this first phase of the project the Sea Change partners have been supported by an International Advisory Group (IAG) chaired by Paula Keener for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States. Other members from United States, Canada and Europe are experts in the field of Ocean Literacy. The IAG provides an important transatlantic link which is a major component of the H2020 programme.

All the resources produced by the Sea Change Project are or will be made available on the project
Sea Change has continued to deliver on the Ocean Literacy communicaiton work in line with the proposal. Where possible the project has delivered abov the requirement taking adavantage of rapidly changing methods of communication. The project will now deliver a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on Ocean Literacy.

Sea Change is desinged to consider the socio-economic and wider societal impact through a dedicated Work Package on evaluation and on Social Innovation Participation Principles. These will report in the next period.
Sea Change partners undergoing SIPPs training at NUIG
Ocean Literacy leaflet that accompanies OL animation
Masterskip students learning about Ocean Literacy at VLIZ
Sea Change consortium at the kick-off meeting in Plymouth
Title illustration for the Human Health and the Ocean animation