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Educate to preserve: raising awareness of ocean protection among the youth

To preserve our fragile ecosystems, it is crucial to educate future generations about the importance of the ocean and its conservation. Since its creation, Surfrider has firmly believed in education and pedagogy to support environmental, economic and societal change. Through various programs, Surfrider raises awareness about protecting the ocean among the youth. 

Osparito, the participatory science programme for schools   

OSPARITO is a participatory science program aimed at schoolchildren on the issue of aquatic waste. By immersing them in the world of police investigations, the aim is to get pupils involved in scientific research in a fun and educational way. Above all, it’s a scientific project based on expertise.

The data collected in the field is used to improve scientific knowledge, but also to support laws acting on the reduction of waste, at both French and European level. These children are helping to improve scientific knowledge by making their own contribution to lobbying activities. 

In 2022, 22 classes took part! A total of 82 groups (including school classes and leisure centres, for example) have taken part in the project since it began. 

Read: Even kids can act up for the ocean 

Echappée Bleue, introducing children to sailing and fostering protection of the marine environment    

This project, carried out in collaboration with skipper and Surfrider ambassador Paul Meilhat, introduces children to sailing while raising their awareness of the need to protect the marine environment. L’échappée bleue ensures that all children are included in sailing and the ocean world and is designed for children who don’t have the opportunity to go on holidays, or who have never been to the seaside before.

The project confirmed its success in 2022. No fewer than 25 Echappées Bleues were organised in 20 towns in mainland France and 6 towns and villages in Guadeloupe to mark the arrival of the Route du Rhum. More than 750 children were able to take part in the programme, which raised awareness of the need to protect the ocean and offered sailing lessons on land and at sea. Since the project began, around 1,000 children have been introduced to the world of sailing. 

Surfrider Campus, an area devoted to education and sustainable development

At the heart of the association’s desire to raise awareness is Surfrider Campus: a physical space dedicated to education and training in sustainable development, aimed at sharing with citizens the challenges of protecting the Ocean. The Campus is open to all, especially schools and children, and offers educational visits, workshops and activities on the ground. It covers issues such as aquatic waste, water quality and user health, coastal protection, climate change and the role of the ocean in climate management. The topics are obviously adapted to the different audiences received. 2,658 schoolchildren were educated thanks to this project, just in 2022.

Discover Ocean Campus, a digital platform for education in sustainable development, with online courses, quizzes and free teaching kits.

    By raising young people’s awareness of ocean conservation through programmes such as those offered by Surfrider, we are sowing the seeds of a generation aware of the importance of this fragile ecosystem. We believe in shaping responsible and committed citizens, ready to take action to preserve the health of the oceans. In this way, we can nurture a generation that will act in harmony with the ocean, preserving its beauty and biodiversity for future generations.