Did you know that the ocean covers more than 70 percent of the surface of our planet and about 97% of the water on Earth is in the Ocean?  Did you know that oceans absorb about 30% of carbon dioxide produced by humans, buffering the impacts of global warming?  Did you know that European Union coastal areas are home to about 40% of the European Union’s population?  We are all directly or indirectly connected to the ocean and seas. Understanding how the ocean and seas influence us and how we influence the ocean and seas – referred to as ocean literacy – is therefore crucial to living and acting sustainably. During the first international Virtual Ocean Literacy Summit on World Ocean Day in June 2020, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius announced the launch of the EU4Ocean Coalition. A lot has happened since. Today, the EU4Ocean Coalition brings together, across Europe and beyond:
- 115 members in the EU4Ocean Platform for organisations and individuals engaged in ocean literacy initiatives;
- 60 members in the Youth4Ocean Forum; and
- 37 schools in the Network of European Blue Schools.
Members of the EU4Ocean Platform have been working together within Working Groups focusing on Climate and Ocean, Food from the Ocean and Healthy and Clean Ocean. The Youth4Ocean Forum organized calls for projects which have allowed for young people to become Young Ocean Advocates and have the opportunity to develop their project further with the support of the EU4Ocean Coalition.  The Network of European Blue Schools enables students to embark on a journey to discover the ocean. 
In addition, the EU4Ocean Coalition also works at the sea basin level with activities planned for the Atlantic Ocean and North Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Arctic Ocean, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
The three EU4Ocean communities further work together and contribute to common activities and events. This could be seen this week at the European Maritime Day conference with the organization of the workshop ‘3 things you didn’t know about the EU4Ocean and Ocean Literacy in the Atlantic and North Sea basin’ and the launch of the ‘Make Europe Blue’ Campaign which is calling on everyone - citizens, businesses, organisations, authorities, celebrities, educators - to make a pledge to help the ocean.
On 22 May 2021, the members of the EU4Ocean Coalition are organizing the first Ocean Literacy online festival as part of the Atlantic and North Sea basin event. The programme of the festival includes workshops, webinars, science shows and lessons, dance performances, virtual tours, Young Ocean Advocates stories, youth outreach events, a beach clean-up, documentary films, exhibitions and much more! The goal of the EU4Ocean Coalition is clear: let’s share, let’s connect, let’s take action for real change!
What can you do?
- Explore the Map of the Week to learn about the members of the EU4Ocean Coalition, their projects and their activities.
- Learn more about the objectives and activities of the EU4Ocean Platform, the Youth4Ocean Forum and the Network of European Blue Schools on the dedicated websites and find out how you can join the EU4Ocean communities. The communities are constantly evolving and growing, be the next pieces of the puzzle on this map!
- Explore the programme of the Ocean Literacy Festival on 22 May 2021 and take part in the wide diversity of activities!
- Join the Make Europe Blue’ Campaign by submitting your pledge for the ocean online!