The COLC grew out of a small, informal ocean literacy consultation and national workshop that was initiated by Ocean School/Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI) and funded by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). This work led to the creation of the Canadian Ocean Literacy Development Plan report in June 2018 that was co-authored by Dr. Lisa (Diz) Glithero and Ocean School’s Janet Stalker. The project was supported by an informal national steering committee with representatives from Ingenium, Ocean Wise, CaNOE, Ocean Networks Canada, Students on Ice, and the Canadian Museum of Nature.

The COLC officially launched on September 20th, 2018, at the G7 Inspiration Expo ministerial meeting in Halifax. At the beginning of the “Launch Phase” (September 2018 – March 2019), the COLC was led by a national coordinator, an administrative coordinator, and an Advisory Council made up of 14 members. Since then, the COLC has grown to over 300 member organizations. The Consultation and Engagement Phase wrapped up in June 2020, and the outcomes of our Understanding Ocean Literacy in Canada study are now available to consult under Our Research page.

Our next phase is focused on building the National Ocean Literacy Strategy and Implementation Plan, to be launched in time for the 2021 United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.