Oceanic education in Second Life

OCWA Experience The Ocean, February 2023

The Ocean Care World Alliance (OCWA) is a group of environmentalists concerned about the negative impact we are having on the world’s oceans and marine life the pollution, dumping and more. Utilising the opportunities presented by virtual tools, they aim to provide a better understanding of our marine environments and the need to protect the vitual role they play as part of the world’s ecosystem, working in partnership with the SEE Turtles Organisation.

Within Second Life OCWA – founded by JT Castanea and SL partner Megs (megscandles) – hosts the Experience The Ocean, which occupies and Full private region adjoining a Homestead region and an Openspace region, each of which play a role in OCWA’s facilities.

OCWA Experience The Ocean, February 2023 – click any image for full size
Our mission is to educate and create awareness of current human impact on marine environments. Using science, technology and the virtual world platform, we can promote more public involvement through support of ocean conservation organisations.

– OCWA Experience the Ocean mission statement

Visits begin on the deck of the main structure in the region – a facility which might be imagined as a re-purposed oil or gas rig, now serving in the role of a Marine Science Centre – a conservation, rescue and research facility and home to OCWA events and educational activities. It forms the main landing point for the facilities, and for those visiting as a part of an educational tour, offering plenty of space for gathering the group together on arrival.

The main level of the centre provides the OCWA’s mission statement (above) and the Sea Turtle information hall in one wing and the ocean virtual learning centre in the other.

OCWA Experience The Ocean, February 2023

The latter takes the form of nine numbered media stations, providing information on a range of ocean-related subjects. These can be activated by hovering the mouse over any one of them (or clicking on it) to display the related web page. The screens do not necessarily have to be followed in numerical order, as each provides self-contained information. The former, by contrast offers a set of information displays on sea turtles that, which clicked, will offer a link to an external web page.

Above these halls can be found the Ocean Art Gallery and the centre’s auditorium for educational and related events / activities, while the upper level is home to office space and access to the centre’s helipad and – more particularly – open-air event space for musical performances.

OCWA Experience The Ocean, February 2023

Also within the centre are information kiosks and display boards, the former providing further links to ocean-related conservation and educational groups, such as The 5 Gyres¹ Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organisation focusing on reducing plastics pollution in rivers, lakes and the oceans through research and education.

On the deck of the centre is the Lunasea Memorial Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Hospital, representing the work put into rehabilitating and releasing turtles affected by pollution and ingesting plastic particulates that result from the saltwater breakdown of certain plastics dumped in the sea. It is here that visitors can obtain a note card to join a unique role-play experience: the Rescue a Virtual Turtle Experience. This takes place in the regions to the south – Whale Fall and Vida de Tortuga. Click the information board for details when visiting the Hospital.

OCWA Experience The Ocean, February 2023

Beneath the centre are the docks servicing the centre’s submersibles and research boats and, below that on the seabed, an undersea laboratory. These can be reached via the teleport stations found around the centre, stations which also provide access to the remaining outdoor locations in the main region. The latter take the form of the Alaska Fossil Beach to the east, and to an area modelled on the south the Cape St. Francis lighthouse and Seal Point, South Africa. Both offer opportunities for surfing, whilst the docks offer the chance to go kayaking using single or 2-seater boats, with little motor boats also available.

With opportunities to donate to SEE Turtles throughout the centre and the regions, the notes opportunities for activities and plenty of ways to learn about the oceanic ecosystems, Experience The Ocean makes for an engaging and potentially educational visit.

OCWA Experience The Ocean, February 2023

SLurl Details


  1. A gyre is a large circular r spiral motion or form. It is particularly used in reference to giant circular oceanic surface currents. In all there are five major subtropical gyres in the worlds oceans (hence “5 Gyres”) – North Atlantic, South Atlantic, Indian Ocean, South Pacific and and the Great Pacific (itself split into to east and west), all of are home to an estimated 270,000 tonnes of plastic dumped in ocean (which is less than 1% of the new plastic made in a single year).