Our Work

Canada's Ocean Literacy Strategy

Land, Water, Ocean, Us: A Canadian Ocean Literacy Strategy was launched on March 16th, 2021. The National Strategy was co-developed by Canadians, for Canadians, through an evidence-based and community-driven engagement process in which over 400 organizations and more than 3,000 Canadians participated.

The National Strategy outlines 9 Action Streams that provide a common framework for action over the course of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030). The Ocean Decade serves as an important opportunity for all of us to work together to help ensure a healthy, equitable, and sustainable relationship with the global ocean and Canada’s waterways for present and future generations.

Read the Strategy Publications

Click titles below to access the three different publications in English, French, and Inuktitut.

Discover the 9 Action Streams

Interact with the Strategy Framework by hovering over different parts of the graphic.

Action Streams

6 (8)

1. Develop the digital Canadian Ocean Literacy Map & Community Platform

2. Establish the Canadian Ocean Literacy Community Microgrant Program

3. Strengthen Ocean Education

4. Grow Ocean Week Canada

5. Enhance Ocean Knowledge Sharing Through media Communications, Storytelling & the Arts

6. Amplify and Advance Youth Engagement in Ocean Conservation & Sustainable Blue Economy Opportunities

7. Evaluate and Improve the Current State of Access & Diversity Within Canada’s Blue Spaces & Ocean-related Sectors

8. Improve Government Integration of Water-ocean-climate Literacy in Policy & Public Engagement

9. Build Ocean & Human Health Connections

Get Involved in the Strategy

As we are in our first year of the Strategy Implementation Phase, there are different ways to get involved in the action.

National Joint Action Projects

Several collaborative projects that are national in scope have already been established to directly address one of the Action Streams as identified in the National Strategy. More projects will be co-developed over the months ahead and throughout the Ocean Decade.

Two approaches

1) COLC office-led projects:

COLC plays a leadership role in designing a project and securing funding. COLC establishes a diverse team of collaborating partners with different regional, cultural and skills expertise, and coordinates project execution.

2) Partner-led projects:

A partner organization leads a national project, including funding, that directly advances one of the Action Streams. These projects are integrated into the National Strategy Impact Framework. COLC supports these projects through amplifying communications and cooperating on measurement activities.

Community and Regional Action Projects

Important ocean literacy work is taking place in communities, organizations, and regions across Canada through a variety of diverse initiatives. It is essential to celebrate and support these existing efforts to ensure ocean literacy is advanced in meaningful, place-based ways. There is no-one-size-fits all approach.

Two ways COLC can support

1) Canadian Ocean Action Streams Tracker (C.O.A.S.T.)

C.O.A.S.T. is a digital mapping tool for any community or organization to use, providing a way to share your project with Canadians and to network with other projects in different regions. C.O.A.S.T. enables COLC to track community-led projects and integrate these initiatives into the National Strategy Impact Framework throughout the Ocean Decade. 

2) Community Microgrant Program

Collective efforts to establish an ocean literacy community microgrant program are underway. The objective of the proposed microgrant program is to provide more accessible and streamlined funding opportunities for community-driven ocean literacy initiatives that are regionally, culturally, and linguistically relevant. 

Measuring Impact

National Strategy Impact Framework


The Strategy promotes 9 specific Action Streams. The collective impact of these Action Streams is intended to achieve the three overarching Strategy goals. Measuring outputs and impact of these Action Streams should provide leading indicators of progress towards the Strategy’s three goals. 

Annual Impact reports will provide a snapshot of “the state of Ocean Literacy in Canada” and will help to reveal trends over the course of the UN Ocean Decade. 

Next Steps: 

  • March 2022 – Develop National Strategy Impact Framework and Action Streams Measurement Plan
  • April 2022- March 2023 – Implement the impact measurement activities
  • March 2023 – Release the first National Strategy Impact report
  • March 2024 – 2030 – Release annual National Strategy Impact reports