Blue Connections: Exploring Society and the Ocean

September 7, 2023 8:00 am

Blue Connections: Exploring Society and the Ocean is a short, informal conference that will invite participants to explore their connections to oceans, seas, and waters in different ways. Over a day and a half, we will use science, the humanities, and coastal practices in an informal setting to see how our diverse engagements with water might be used as the foundations for more harmonious relations with the natural world, and each other.

Register here.

This event is co-organised by MaREI UCC and The Dingle Hub. MaREI is the world-leading Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine. The Dingle Hub is a social enterprise that aims to build a sustainable community by supporting business and employment on the Dingle Peninsula, county Kerry, ensuring that it remains liveable and sustainable for the future.

Background: transforming our relationships with the ocean

The 2020s look to be a decade in which humanity will attempt to transform its relationship with the ocean. The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) has as its mission ‘to catalyse transformative ocean science solutions for sustainable development, connecting people and our ocean’. Other regional initiatives such as the European Commission’s Mission: Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030 similarly place the role of citizens in driving the Mission at the centre of its projects and policies. In all there is a growing acknowledgement of the pressing need to understand the links between social disquiet and environmental pressures; what ‘marine citizenship’ might look like, and, simply, what are the different ways we experience the ocean, and how might we use our diverse knowledge and experience to make a difference?

With insights from anthropology, sociology, philosophy, Irish folklore, poetry, oceanography, geography, marine biology, but also coastal walks, swimming, activism and more, Blue Connections will form the intellectual and practical currents that we will follow to explore and experience our connections to the ocean.


Taking place in UCC’s Dún Chíomháin campus, a number of beautiful beaches are within walking distance. Situated near Ballyferriter on Kerry’s Dingle Peninsula, within the Corca Dhuibhne Gaeltacht, Dún Chíomháin offers an ideal place from which to frame our connection to the ocean in an Irish context – how does the ocean shape our identity on this island and how can language, folklore and mythology be used reilluminate this relationship.

The Dingle Peninsula is one of Ireland’s premier beauty spots and famed for its rich marine life and stunning coastal environment. Ballyferriter is a small village on the northwest side of the peninsula, about a 15-minute drive from Dingle town.


This is a limited-capacity event. Registration fees of €80 cover the cost of running the event including Dinner in a local restaurant on the 7th and lunch on the 8th. Attendees must organise their own accommodation in or close to Dingle town for the night of the 7th. For further queries please contact ei.ccu@elyob.navE or ei.ccu@etyhw.divaD.