In 2004, ocean educators from across the country gathered to discuss ways to increase the awareness and knowledge of the general public concerning ocean issues. In essence, they asked the question “what does it mean to be ocean literate?” As a result of this workshop, the Ocean Literacy Initiative was born. Over the next few years, teams of scientists and educators developed a list of “seven essential principles” that everyone should know about the ocean. This effort has helped ocean educators focus their message and concentrate on way to engender a basic level of ocean understanding among all audiences.
In 2007, a group of participants at COSEE NOW (including scientists, classroom educators and designers) decided to collaborate on developing an interactive module to highlight the essential principles. This interactive represents the public beta of this new Ocean Literacy Interactive.