This review was commissioned by the Ocean Conservation Trust (OCT) to study the link between Ocean literacy and behaviour change with policy recommendations on how this relationship can be improved in the future.

The evidence synthesis review is titled ‘Understanding Ocean Literacy and Ocean Climate-related behaviour change in the UK’. The main aim for the work was to see how Ocean literacy can more effectively connect the public with Ocean and Climate and what is missing from its current definition. The Ocean Literacy Working Group founded by Ocean Conservation Trust acted as a sounding board for the report.

The academic review found that the meaning of Ocean Literacy is shifting to include emotional engagement as a key form of connecting the public to the Ocean. The review recommends that moving forward, Ocean Literacy should include connection to the Ocean, emotions, empathy and visiting the ocean as key modes to help build pro Ocean understanding and behavior in the public sphere.

The OCT is extremely happy to hear this news as we strive to connect people with the Ocean. We inspire our supporters to love the Ocean by offering immersive experiences both on and off the water. We have been building this grass roots campaign for the past two decades and we are happy that the report findings back up our conservation pathway.

We hope this review encourages scientists, NGO’s, governments and teachers to include emotional connection as an Ocean Literacy development tool. It will be an important focus at the beginning of the UN’s Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021/2030), a decade to work together to support our oceans.