How Ocean Literacy Provides Opportunities for Unique Career Paths

Do you remember your first connection to the water? Perhaps it was a family trip to the beach, a friend’s pool, or simply seeing what floated in the tub. Whatever it was, that moment was the beginning of what we call ocean literacy.

For us, ocean literacy comes when kids connect with nature to learn about ocean currents, weather, and team building, alongside traditional STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) concepts.

Community sailing centers and youth experiential education are at the core of our grant program, particularly organizations that give students their first opportunity to spend time near the ocean. The joyful experience of being on and in the water greatly increases kids’ appreciation of local waterways leading to a more engaged and knowledgeable ocean-loving community for years to come.

It also goes beyond a passion for the ocean—many of our grantee programs help students lay the foundation for careers that they may not have imagined without early exposure to the ocean.

Here are some inspiring organizations we have renewed grants with this year.

BLAKE connects students with the environment through snorkeling, walking nature trails, beach cleanups, sailing, and more to inspire action for the ocean in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo credit: BLAKE

BLAKE connects students with the environment through snorkeling, walking nature trails, beach cleanups, sailing, and more to inspire action for the ocean in Auckland, New Zealand.
Photo credit: BLAKE

Community Boating Center New Bedford teaches sailing and sustainable aquaculture to public school students and supports alum of the program to become junior instructors in New Bedford, Mass. Photo credit: Andy Chin / CBCNB

Community Boating Center New Bedford teaches sailing and sustainable aquaculture to public school students and supports alums of the program to become junior instructors in New Bedford, Mass.
Photo credit: Andy Chin / CBCNB

Community Boating Center Providence provides sailing and on-water STEM educational activities and teaches socio-emotional skills to the city’s public school students in Providence, R.I. Photo credit: CBC Providence

Community Boating Center Providence provides sailing and on-water STEM educational activities and teaches socio-emotional skills to the city’s public school students in Providence, R.I.
Photo credit: CBC Providence

Courageous Sailing leads a free, year-round sailing, STEM and youth leadership program where students can graduate to the organization’s Instructor-in-Training program in Boston, Mass. Photo credit: Jack Hutchinson / Courageous Sailing

Courageous Sailing engages students for over a decade through summer and school-day programs blending STEM, sailing, environmental advocacy, and social-emotional learning in Boston, Mass. Photo credit: Jack Hutchinson / Courageous Sailing

Hudson River Community Sailing’s Sail Academy provides year-round youth development, academic enrichment, and leadership education through sailing and boatbuilding in New York City, N.Y. Photo credit: Leigh Beckett

Hudson River Community Sailing’s Sail Academy provides year-round youth development, academic enrichment, and leadership education through sailing and boatbuilding in New York City, N.Y.
Photo credit: Leigh Beckett

Mariposa DR Foundation aims to end generational poverty by empowering, educating, and employing girls aged 8-18+ with year-round programming in Cabarete, Dominican Republic. Photo credit: Mariposa DR Foundation

Mariposa DR Foundation aims to end generational poverty by empowering, educating, and employing girls aged 8-18+ with year-round programming in Cabarete, Dominican Republic.
Photo credit: Mariposa DR Foundation

Ocean Discovery Institute’s science and conservation program empowers and encourages students to pursue STEM careers and achieve higher levels of academic success in San Diego, Calif. Photo credit: Ocean Discovery Institute

Ocean Discovery Institute’s science and conservation program empowers and encourages students to pursue STEM careers and achieve higher levels of academic success in San Diego, Calif.
Photo credit: Ocean Discovery Institute

Rocking the Boat’s on-water Environmental Science Program engages students in research projects on water quality, oyster restoration, and bird migration data collection and analysis in Bronx, N.Y. Photo credit: Joaquin Cotten

Rocking the Boat’s on-water Environmental Science Program engages students in research projects on water quality, oyster restoration, and bird migration data collection and analysis in Bronx, N.Y.
Photo credit: Joaquin Cotten

Header image credit: Leigh Beckett

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