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How can you “Sea Change” that occurs over 500 years? New Sea Change Resources Launched to Support a Healthier Ocean

SEACHANGE Full Logo ColourMany of the detrimental changes that are occurring in the ocean are out of sight, and therefore out of mind. To coincide with the upcoming ‘Our Ocean’ conference, a major global event on international ocean governance hosted by the European Union (EU) in Malta this year, the EU-funded Sea Change project is launching a number of original and inspiring resources that help foster a deeper understanding amongst European citizens of how their activities impact on ocean health.

Ocean health and human health are intrinsically linked, and by helping citizens to understand how their activities affect the ocean, Sea Change calls on all citizens to take responsible action to support a healthier ocean. Jan Seys of the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), one of the work-package leaders of Sea Change, says “The ocean is crucial for our planet and is constantly in a state of change. When rather abrupt and human-induced changes are at stake, scientists and educators should feel responsible and share their knowledge as much as possible with the public. Only by informing and engaging citizens, can we build Ocean Literacy, make well-informed decisions and change behaviour for the sake of a healthy planet”.

Symptoms of anthropogenic change include rising sea temperatures, sea-level rise, changing acidity levels, plastic debris and melting ice-caps, as well as pressures facing marine biodiversity. A powerful new Sea Change infographic, developed by British Illustrator Glynn Gorick and VLIZ in collaboration with the Oceans Past Initiative and the Oceans Past Platform, shows recorded measurements of the dramatic changes the ocean has undergone since Ferdinand Magellan embarked on his voyage around the world 500 years ago (1519-1522). You can view the infographic on the Sea Change website: http://seachangeproject.eu/images/SEACHANGE/OurOceanOurHealth/500-yrs-high-res.jpg.500 years of ocean change

Although these changes are dramatic, we can still help to protect the ocean and all of the wonderful benefits it provides us with. As part of its ‘Our Ocean, Our Health’ campaign, Sea Change has also produced a short video series with useful tips on how we citizens can “Make a Small Change for Sea Change” through our daily activities in the bathroom, the kitchen, the supermarket, on the commute, in the office and when eating on the go. The videos can be watched on the Sea Change Vimeo account (https://vimeo.com/album/4588555) and are accompanied by a set of colourful infographic posters. These are available on the project website: http://seachangeproject.eu/ouroceanourhealth/ocean-literacy-resources. An earlier video introducing the ocean’s life-giving vitality, called “Our Ocean Our Oxygen” is also available to share.

Jan Seys, VLIZ says “history has demonstrated that with enough support, we can turn these negative evolutions around to support healthier oceans, by reducing human-induced pressures. It’s important that the scientific data that illustrate these dramatic changes in our planet’s life support systems are clearly communicated to the public so that they can take action.”
A number of other Sea Change resources have also been made available, including a new series of online workshops to focus on three major ocean and sea issues of societal importance in the future: ocean and human health, seabed mapping, and aquaculture. The course, called “A Sea Change for Ocean Literacy”, will run between 30 October and 17 November 2017, and is led by the College of CoExploration Limited in the UK, supported by the College of Exploration, USA and VLIZ, Belgium. To register for these free workshops, please visit: www.coexploration.org/seachange

Bathroom v7

A variety of inspiring outreach and engagement activities aimed at improving Ocean Literacy across Europe are also featured in the fourth edition of the Sea Change Newsletter, which is now available to download from the media section on the project’s website: http://seachangeproject.eu/seachange-media-2/factsheet

All of the Sea Change resources have been developed to foster a deeper understanding amongst European citizens of how their activities impact on ocean health. They can be found at http://seachangeproject.eu/ouroceanourhealth/ocean-literacy-resources
Pledge to make a “Sea Change” in your daily behaviour today at http://seachangeproject.eu/ouroceanourhealth/take-action-checklist and share your commitment online using #OurOceanOurHealth
Get the latest news on the Sea Change campaign by following the project on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SeaChange_EU and liking it on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeaChangeProjectEU.

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