Sea Change World Oceans Day Event - Safety at the Beach!

For World Oceans Day, Sea Change partner VLIZ held an event on "safety at the beach" in Oostend, Belgium, which over 180 enthusiastic visitors attended. The event included a plenary session with plenary speakers (a wave-and-currents researcher and an emergency doctor), a stand-up comedy session, and a debate with the speakers, the Governor of our coastal Province and an aquatic sports physiologist. All visitors were then invited to a 'sea market' where they could participate in scientific experiments, get to know the Belgian Life Saving organisation(s) and other relevant institutions and initiatives. A Sea Change graphic on the '13 dangers of the sea' was developed and distributed at the event along with the Plastics in the Marine Environment infographic. Thanks all enthusiastic exhibitors, speakers, panelists, volunteers and vliz-ers who made this event possible!

IMG 1635 picture Nathalie De Hauwere

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For more photos from the event, see: 


Sea for yourself! New Position Paper by the European Marine Board presents opportunities, challenges and best practice for Marine Citizen Science

With our coasts and ocean changing faster than ever before, Citizen Scientists will play a huge role in helping science to protect them.

What animals live along our shore? Where do dolphins go? How can we protect this reef? Why not go and see for yourself! Marine Citizen Science projects in Europe and beyond are already answering these questions. Marine Citizen Science is where members of the general public collaborate with scientists to gather and analyse data on the marine environment and its many inhabitants. It is a powerful tool. The coastal and ocean environments are vast, and there are still many creatures to discover and many questions to answer.

Approximately 95% of the sea floor is still to be surveyed in detail, and there could be between 500,000 and 2 million marine species still to discover. It would take many lifetimes for scientists to explore them alone. This is where Marine Citizen Scientists come in. The data collected and analysed by willing and interested volunteers is invaluable to the development of scientific knowledge, and inreturn, can provide many benefits to the volunteers. And with knowledge comes power. The new knowledge generated will be essential for a more sustainable use of these precious environments in the future. “Marine Citizen Science has the potential to not only influence the environmental impacts of society through behavioural education and knowledge, but also to empower citizens to engage constructively
in the development and implementation of truly fit-for-purpose and evidence-based maritime policy” says Jan Mees, Director General, Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ).

A new Position Paper, published by the European Marine Board, present the opportunities, challenges and best practice for Marine Citizen Science, and presents a vision for its future in Europe. At a time
when the marine environment is changing more than ever before, Marine Citizen Scientists will pay a vital in understanding the changes, their impacts, and what can be done to prevent further damage to the ocean on which we depend so heavily. The time for cooperation between science and society is now.

So what might you find at the sea shore this summer? Hopefully Marine Citizen Scientists! 

You can find out more on the website: 

Ocean Literacy for All : Sustaining SDG 14 Goals Through Ocean Science Education and Ocean Literacy

Building on existing regional, national, and international ocean science education initiatives, such as those carried forward by the Sea Change project, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, the International Consortium for Ocean Science Exploration and Engagement (COSEE), the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance, and the European and Asian Association of Marine Educators, this Side Event to The Ocean Conference in New York will foster ocean awareness and ocean science education in all segments of society.

The goals are to:
1) Encourage cooperation and best practice exchange related to ocean science education, resulting in improved ocean literacy;
2) Raise awareness of the interactions between the ocean and peoples’ daily lives, and empower citizens to adjust everyday behavior; and
3) Seek and apply innovative ways to make current and future generations ocean literate so that they can make informed decisions related to ocean stewardship and the use of ocean resources that ultimately translate into ocean policy.

This event will bring together partners from several countries to engage in discussions and presentations related to ocean science education and ocean literacy. Panelists will introduce an overview of collaborative, international ocean education initiatives that have been designed to improve ocean literacy across a variety of Member States and audiences.

Ocean Literacy for All event will focus on providing information and resources to Member States that will enable them to better support ocean literacy initiatives in their own countries and further develop a global network that supports public understanding of the oceans in general and SDG14 goals in particular.

Ocean Literacy for all

Sea Change Ocean Literacy event to be held at the Nisa Marathon in the Czech Republic

Sea Change third party iQLandia is organising a Sea Change event as part of the 17th Nisa Marathon, an annual canoe race on the river Nisa in Liberec, the Czech Republic on 3 June 2017. The event’s tradition and past success will bring a large number of participants and visitors.

A communication stand will be set up near the finishing line and they will be demonstrating experiments to show to the connection between humans and nature. iQLandia will engage participants and the audience, focusing on the connection of inner water ways and the ocean by pointing out interlinked aspects of hydrology. iQLandia will also highlight the importance of having a healthy ocean even for inland countries by communicating the ways in which the oceans support the quality of human life.

iQLandia will also organise a pop-up exhibition displaying the level of change that has occurred over the last several decades and how has the river landscape transformed. During the day, a raft crew of Sea Change team will a cleaning the banks of the river and materials collected will be used to create a “work of art”.

Sea Change will be also present at the final ceremony where winners of the canoe race will be announced. Sport enthusiasts and water sports will feed their ideas into the event planning and take an active part in promoting environmentally responsible behavior during a preparatory workshop.

The activities will not be shut down until the last crew in the marathon reach the finish line. iQLANDIA staff will even participate in the race so hopefully we don’t have to camp overnight waiting for them.

Youth Camp Teaches Teenagers of the Importance of Ocean Health

DIY toothpaste workshop16Sea Change third party AHHAA held a youth camp for teenagers from Estonia, Germany and Argentina in Tartu, Estonia from 22 - 24 March 2017.

The course brought together 15 young people and instructors who stayed in the middle of one of the largest South Estonian wetlands for two and a half days to learn about the importance of water and the health of the ocean. Fun and engaging workshops included making DIY Sea Change toothpaste to avoid microplastics, dissecting fish to learn more about the creatures that inhabit the ocean, making wallets from juice cartons to encourage recycling and learning about oil spill clean-up.

IMG 0967Helin Haga from AHHAA who organised the event said: “Since talking about environmental protection in formal lecture-type settings can be difficult for teenagers to relate, we decided to hold a science camp where we take the youngsters out of town to a wetland where they could experience the effect of human activities on water first-hand.”

The teenagers also had the opportunity to learn rescue skills in icy water from the Estonian Maritime Rescue Organisation. All the lessons given over the course of the camp were framed with information generated by the Sea Change project and children were encouraged to check the project website for more information and materials and to take action to protect the ocean after the event. The participants’ feedback indicated that the youngsters plan on sharing the knowledge gained with the friends and family and will start paying more attention to how their daily consuming habits influence the ocean.

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