Moving Oceans is a research project about the role of sport, physical activities and leisure in how we come to care for oceans and coasts.

It explores the everyday individual and community relationships we develop through surfing, swimming and other ocean lifestyle sports. These sports and activities keep our bodies and minds healthy and they play a key part in the health of oceans and coasts too. This project aims to show how and why ocean lifestyle sports help us experience such close connections with the saltwater plants, animals, geographies and climates.

Recent years have seen growing activism about the importance of healthy oceans. More people than ever are collecting plastics on beaches, protesting polluting industries, protecting mangrove, kelp and seagrass beds, and changing how we purchase and consume goods. People who use oceans and coasts for sport, physical activity and leisure have been leaders in these changes. In part this is because our relationships to the saltwater and sand, changing weather conditions, and the plants and animals that live there shape how we see ourselves as part of ocean and coastal ecologies.

This project is interested in how participation in ocean lifestyle sports shapes our relationships, attitudes and behaviours towards taking care of oceans and coasts, and how we impact community and policy knowledge about ocean and coastal ecologies.

Testing Assumptions

By testing assumptions about the environmental ethics produced through ocean lifestyle sports, we can explore the role of ocean lifestyle sports in developing ecological sensibilities (ethics and practices of care and obligation) for ocean and coastal ecologies.

Engaging Issues

By engaging with issues of sustainability, pollution, climate justice, and adaptation, the findings will contribute to local-global conversations with ocean-user individuals, groups and institutions responsible for the management of ocean and coastal spaces. That is, it will develop a clear understanding of the potential of ocean lifestyle sports cultures and practices in caring for oceans and coasts.

Testing Assumptions

By testing assumptions about the environmental ethics produced through ocean lifestyle sports, we can explore the role of ocean lifestyle sports in developing ecological sensibilities (ethics and practices of care and obligation) for ocean and coastal ecologies.

Engaging Issues

By engaging with issues of multispecies communities, pollution, and environmental justice, the findings will contribute to local and global conversations with individuals, groups and institutions responsible for the care of ocean and coastal spaces. That is, it will develop a clear understanding of the potential of ocean lifestyle sports cultures and practices in healthy coasts and oceans.

Definitions

Ocean Lifestyle Sports

Informal, recreational leisure and physical activities that centre on experiences of risk, individuality, consumption and nature. This project has a focus on surfing and ocean swimming.

Human-ocean Health and Wellbeing

An understanding of the interconnection of the health and wellbeing of ecologies, and how this impacts the health and wellbeing of the humans who are part of them. Instead of only seeing the benefits of coasts and oceans to people, it accounts for how people impact coasts and oceans too.

Ecological Sensibilities

The development of relationships and connections to ecologies that inspire emotive responses and ethical practices. These often develop through place-based, multispecies encounters.

Ocean and Coastal Ecologies

The complex and interconnected community of relationships between human and non-human organisms and physical environments. In this project, ‘ecology’ is extended to include technologies, pollution, economies, media, histories, culture, and any other practice or institution that impacts human-environmental health and wellbeing.

How We Make Waves

This project uses interviews, fieldwork and media analysis to:

Collect lived knowledges and experiences of oceans and coasts by talking to and surfing and swimming with diverse ocean lifestyle sports participants

Examine activist practices on social media

Include greater diversity in discussions about issues of caring for oceans and coasts

Encourage the sense of responsibility among ocean-users, including an awareness of people as part of ecologies

Advocate for more ethical processes for imagining marine and coastal management

The Team Behind the Project

Moving Oceans is supported by a multi-disciplinary team, who bring a range of skills, experience and expertise to understanding human-ocean health.

Dr Rebecca Olive

Lead Researcher

Naomi Edwards

Project Manager (2019-2020)

Dr Hannah Reardon-Smith

Saltwater Library Production & Music

Dr Amelia Hine

Saltwater Library Design

Doortje Hörst

PhD Student

Alex Norman

Web Design & Development

You’re invited to

Collaborate with us.

Moving Oceans is grounded with a deep understanding that we may not all share the same ideology, mindset and values. With an interest in engaging in discussions and debates, and willingness to share information, we invite individuals, journalists, community groups, coastal managers and policy-makers to engage with us.