Ocean, Freshwater, and Us

We are all connected to the ocean.

In partnership with the Canadian Ocean Literacy Coalition, Canadian Geographic is reframing the conversation around ocean conservation, highlighting the interconnectedness of ocean and freshwater and our shared responsibility to protect the health of Canada’s streams, rivers and coastal waters. Ocean, Freshwater, and Us illuminates this critical relationship through immersive cartography, companion educational resources and a dynamic interactive website.


Giant Floor Map
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This first-of-its-kind giant floor map highlights the foundational connections between ourselves and the water that surrounds and sustains us. The base cartography is enhanced by an augmented reality experience that allows users to follow freshwater flows to the ocean, explore marine protected areas in Canadian waters and see some of the unique life they sustain, and meet the people working to conserve and steward the ocean and its resources for future generations. Developed as a learning and engagement tool for schools, libraries, museums and aquariums, conferences, and other public spaces and events, the map will be used annually during Ocean Week Canada celebrations and throughout the UN Ocean Decade (2021-2030). This is a map made to be walked on.

Reach: 42 bookings (3,780+ learners engaged) 

Interactive exhibit

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PRESSURE: James Cameron Into the Abyss, hosted at the Royal Canadian Geographical Society’s headquarters at 50 Sussex in Ottawa, features the cutting-edge DEEPSEA CHALLENGER submersible and the steel diving sphere that protected Cameron from the crushing pressure of the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, nearly 11 kilometres below the ocean’s surface. In summer 2023, a companion Ocean, Freshwater, and Us exhibit featuring the giant floor map and information panels on ocean and freshwater conservation supported the overarching message of PRESSURE: that ocean exploration and storytelling is needed to foster public awareness of marine biodiversity and guide conservation efforts. 

Educational resources

Giant Floor Map for classrooms
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This version of the Giant Floor Map, which comes in classroom size (8 metres x 6 metres) or gym size (11 metres x 8 metres) allows students and teachers to interact with and study our connection with water, regardless of where in Canada we live. Integrated augmented reality experiences transform students’ learning and virtually transport them to specific Marine Protected Areas in Canada for deep underwater exploration. Schools and educators are able to book one of the maps for a period of 15 days.

Reach: 42 bookings (3,780+ learners engaged) 

Lesson plans
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Developed by Canadian Geographic Education to accompany the Giant Floor Map, this teacher’s guide includes five engaging learning activities covering an array of topics such as biodiversity, climate change, the global ocean, marine conservation, and taking action. 

Reach: 637+ downloads

Digital engagement

AR companion app
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The Ocean Week Canada augmented reality app lets users discover Canada’s ocean waters and watersheds in a brand new way. Through augmented reality, users can discover the various ways Canada is working to protect its ocean and freshwater areas. 

Also integrated into the augmented reality experience are two Ocean Week Canada video collections, including ‘Coastal Stories,’ curated by the SOI Foundation, and ‘Indigenous Water Guardians,’ curated by the Indigenous Leadership Initiative and partnering communities. 

Reach: 100+ downloads

Interactive website
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This stunning interactive website allows users to interact with the Ocean, Freshwater, and Us map in high-resolution detail. Users can toggle various layers, including Protected Areas, Populated Places and Freshwater Flow to coax out numerous stories from the map, and explore profiles of Marine Protected Areas in Canada. Educators can also use the site to access the lesson plans and teaching materials associated with the map. 

Reach: 5,170+ visits

Social media reach 
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