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ECOP Canada

Advancing National Strategy Action Stream #6
Advancing National Strategy Action Stream #6

About ECOP Canada

ECOP Canada is the Canadian network for the Global ECOP program, endorsed by the UN Ocean Decade. ECOP Canada aims to achieve intergenerational equity by strengthening the diverse voices of early career ocean professionals across all ocean fields in Canada with meaningful networking and development opportunities. 


An early career ocean professional (ECOP) is anyone who makes their living from a healthy ocean. An ECOP is a person that self-identifies as being early in their career (10 years or less of professional experience) within any occupation related to the ocean (not only employed/paid positions). 


ECOPs will be the ones to inherit the decisions made about the ocean today, as well as leadership roles in the blue economy. 


ECOP Canada and COLC

Supported growth of ECOP Canada’s leadership
  • COLC has provided core operating funds for ECOP to hire a full-time national coordinator from February 2022 until March 2026. COLC is committed to supporting the growth of ECOP Canada’s membership engagement and partnerships with ocean leaders.

Provided travel stipends for ECOPs to attend major conferences

  • COLC directly supports ECOP Canada’s network by providing travel stipends to attend major conferences in Canada that are focused on protecting and restoring ocean health. This funding is instrumental in helping ECOP Canada meet its goal of empowering ECOPs with meaningful networking and development opportunities and ensuring the diverse voices ECOPs are included in high-level conversations and decisions made about the future of Canada’s ocean. In 2022-2023, COLC provided $27,000 in travel stipends.

Core content creation for Ocean Week Canada to empower early career professionals

  • In partnership with COLC and Ocean Networks Canada, ECOP Canada created a toolkit in French and English to inspire students and early career professionals to consider how their knowledge, skills, and creativity can help contribute to and shape Canada’s blue economy. This included producing a video story series about Ocean Innovators from diverse roles in Canada’s ocean space to inspire ECOPs to explore innovative solutions and pathways that contribute to a healthy ocean.

Mentored early career professionals with Ocean Decade Workshop

  • ECOP Canada co-lead a collaborative Ocean Decade workshop with COLC and other ocean partners in January 2022 to design and launch a national campaign, the Coastal Connection Challenge. ECOP Canada was instrumental in recruiting ECOPs to participate in the workshop and providing mentorship.


ECOP Canada is a UN Ocean Decade endorsed initiative.