Great Lakes Enhance Ocean Literacy

By Lyndsey Manzo

The ocean sciences community now has literacy principles for all of North America, including the nation's freshwater coast. Great Lakes Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts for Great Lakes Learning has been developed as a means of comparing the oceanic attributes of the lakes with the well-established Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts, so that educators and scientists would think of the Great Lakes in parallel with the oceans. With the support of COSEE California, COSEE Great Lakes and GLEAMS members facilitated the drafting and review process; this included the addition of an eighth principle focusing on the environmental history of the lakes and their role in the development of the North Coast�s culture, economy and regional identity.

The Great Lakes Literacy Principles were introduced in Gatlinburg at the NMEA Conference. A brochure similar to the Ocean Literacy K-12 brochure has been produced. A website ( is being developed so that instructional materials, as well as links to Great Lakes and ocean information, will be readily available to the Great Lakes audience. Educators in the Great Lakes have begun using the framework to encourage more Great Lakes content in curricula and to focus state agency efforts toward education that is recognized for relevance to Great Lakes science.

Download the full-color brochure [1.6 Mb] or a list of the Principles and Concepts.