ProBleu - enhancing ocean and water literacy in schools - Earthwatch
Underwater ocean view of corals and red fish

ProBleu – enhancing ocean and water literacy in schools

In June 2023, the world’s oceans hit their hottest ever recorded temperature. This ocean heating has serious implications as oceans are a vital climate regulator — soaking up heat, producing half Earth’s oxygen and driving weather patterns.

There has never been a more vital time for more understanding of the importance of the oceans and seas in our planet’s ecosystem. Earthwatch Europe are proud to be part of a new European project, ProBleu, which aims to educate and empower young people and schools to take action for the wellbeing and sustainable management of our oceans and waters.

A worldwide problem

Across the globe, our oceans, rivers and lakes continue to degrade due to human activities, including pollution with plastic, nutrients and chemicals, and the destruction of habitats.

In the EU, half of coastal and freshwater habitats are assessed as threatened (in the categories ‘Critically Endangered’, ‘Endangered’, and ‘Vulnerable’) according to the European Red List of Habitats.

Mission Starfish 2030: Restore our Ocean and Waters aims to reverse this degradation by protecting and restoring ecosystems, and preventing and eliminating pollution. The success of this mission will partly depend on ocean and water literacy and environmental stewardship.

Project aims

ProBleu acts to facilitate school activities related to ocean and water literacy through funding calls to sustain and enrich current school activities, and kick-start and support new activities. ProBleu is also adapting existing educational methods and resources, and developing new resources — including those related to citizen science — to support, strengthen and sustain school activities. Through these resources and funding, ProBleu aims to:

  • Engage school communities in working towards Sustainable Development Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation
  • Improve the understanding of and enhance the sense of responsibility towards the value and challenges of oceans and waters among children, youth and teachers
  • Grow the Network of European Blue Schools, an initiative of EU4Ocean, which aims to inspire teachers and students to develop a “Find the blue” project that links them to the ocean and inland waters
  • Engage the broader community with the Network of European Blue Schools activities, sustaining its growth

Working together

ProBleu is a truly pan-European project, bringing together partners from many different countries. ProBleu is coordinated by Instituto de Ciencias del Mar (ICM) – CSIC, a world-leader in water quality research. INOVA+ – Innovation Services, S.A. (INOVA+) leads the development of the grant funding processes; Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) brings expertise in social science; and Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) will advise on the appropriate selection of data resources to drive the creation of teaching materials with lasting impact on water and ocean literacy. Finally, Ocean Conservation Trust (OCT) will help to reach schools interested in marine education, and provide a support community and contact database for teachers and educators.

Earthwatch brings our expertise in citizen science, freshwater research, and education to the project; helping to foster ocean and freshwater literacy in schools, ensuring that future generations across Europe feel connected to the ocean and freshwaters and have the tools to advocate for them.

Discover more

If you are a school interested in improving ocean and water literacy within your educational institution and have an engaging project idea, you can apply for funding. The first round of funding will open in November 2023, with projects to be implemented between 1 April 2024 and 31 December 2024 (maximum 11 months). Register your school by submitting this form.

To find out more about ProBleu, visit the project webpage. For more information on Earthwatch’s work with fresh water and to get involved with water quality testing, visit our FreshWater Watch page.

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