Marine Education Center (Marinpedagogiskt Center) is a newly completed building by the beach in Malmö. In the center, visitors from schools in the region of Skåne get the opportunity to experience the sea of Öresund, its exciting history and marine life. There they can also learn more about the Sustainability Development Goals of the Agenda 2030. After students have visited the Marine Education Center, they become young ambassadors for the sea.
The Marine Education Center works to increase awareness about the sea and the life below water. The Sound, which divides and unites Denmark and Sweden, is one of the world’s busiest sea areas, with over 35 000 ships passing each year in a region that has over 3.7 million inhabitants. Even when 35 years ago the Sound was a polluted sea, now Öresund is doing well: it is a fantastic sea area with shallow seagrass beds and sustainable fish stocks.
The Marine Education enter was inaugurated in 2017, following more than 20 years of work with young people, the public, the business sector, and decision-makers to increase awareness and Ocean Literacy. Ocean Literacy is the knowledge of how we humans and the sea interact and affect each other. The Marine Education Center together with the City of Malmö has invested in increased knowledge building, aiming at visitors and residents in the region about the importance of the sea to the planet.
At the Marine Education Center, students from preschool to university are offered the opportunity to explore and discover Malmö’s largest natural area, the sea. Every year, over 5 000 young people have the opportunity to investigate fauna and flora in detail by sampling or examining the sea. Waders, wetsuits and our research boat are used for this end. All marine activities are linked to the Swedish curriculum. With what the students learn, they create posters, art, music and innovations for sustainable urban development. They become young sea ambassadors. During 2021–2022, pupils and students are developing methods for getting more young people involved in civil society.
The nature Boat
Having the opportunity to experience the sea out on a boat gives an extra. In 2012, Naturbåten (The Nature Boat) started as a project where 20–30 school classes with students aged 13–19 years old got the opportunity to go by boat on the Sound and into the canals of Malmö. They do citizen science by taking plankton samples and measuring salinity, oxygen and visibility. These data will help plan the creation of new districts in the harbor of Malmö: Nyhamnen and Södra Varvsbassängen.
In Nyhamnen and Södra Varvsbassängen there was a harbor operation with 7–8 meters deep, without any major marine life. Thanks to the knowledge, data, experience and suggestions from the Marine Education Center, the city of Malmö has decided to reduce the depth of this area, by filling up with rock and sand up to 3–4 meters. Thus increasing the biological diversity where eelgrass, bladderwrack, mussels and fish thrive. The new districts will be buzzing with life both above and below sea level.
Since April 2020, the center is also a national visitor center for nature, Naturum Öresund. It is open to the public all year with exhibitions, guided tours, and excursions out in the water. The number of visitors to the center and Naturum Öresund is about 70 000 annually. There are 32 national naturum in Sweden thanks to guidelines from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.
Contact: Michael Palmgren
Webb: Marint Kunskapscenter | Sverige | Marin pedagogik (smkc.se)
Photos: Marine Education Center