For the next eight weeks we are discussing the concept of Ocean Literacy. We’ll provide an anthology of reflections, examples, illustrations and demonstrations that represent the best responses to the challenges we face. The work we describe here is based on the efforts of a group of ocean experts and educators to outline a curriculum intended to instill inside and outside formal classrooms a full understanding of what the ocean means for our living, for all aspects of the wellness and welfare of our selves and our communities. While the focus is on comprehensive ocean science, the curriculum transcends the usual natural resource perimeters of such study to relate the ocean to climate, fresh water, food, energy, health, work, trade, transportation, finance, community development, and cultural traditions.
There is only one ocean, not seven seas, but one integrated oceanic system that connects us all, even as we are separated by continents, politics, economic development, and cultural traditions. Only with the most recent realization of globalization — the interconnectedness of all nations and all peoples — has the world come to understand the unifying reality of the ocean and its undeniable force for the future.