Can Ocean Literacy Save Our Coastal School?

Noémie Roy

Abstract


Protecting coastal ecosystems and communities requires the engagement of ocean literate citizens. Along the St. Lawrence Estuary, in Canada, a rural community mobilized to save its middle school by creating an innovative program connecting the existing curriculum to the ocean. This research explores the rationale, barriers, and enablers of including ocean literacy in schools through a case study of this program. Interviews and surveys with school community members showed that although the school managed to stay open, the program faces considerable barriers, including the lack of an educational framework, educational resources and funding. Support from community members and access to a coordinator were the greatest enablers of the program. From these findings, I develop recommendations supporting the establishment of similar programs in other schools.

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Copyright © Canadian Journal of Environmental Education (CJEE) ISSN 1205-5352