ICAN is a project of UNESCO IOC´s IODE Programme, and ICAN members seek to play a leadership role in forging international collaborations of value to the participating nations, thereby optimizing regional governance in coastal zone management and marine spatial planning.


We live on a blue planet, with oceans and seas covering more than 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface. Oceans feed us, regulate our climate, and generate most of the oxygen we breathe. Some 37 per cent of the world's population lives within 100 km of the coast. (UNEP)


CWAs are "...collections of digital maps and datasets with supplementary tables, illustrations, & information that systematically illustrate the coast, oftentimes with cartographic & decision support tools, all of which are accessible via the Internet."  O'Dea et al., 2007


Membership in ICAN is open to all interested parties who agree to the mission & objectives of ICAN, including those with an operational coastal web atlas, as well as those hoping to design and build a coastal web atlas in the future.
Join us!

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ICAN 8 Coastal Web Atlases – Enhancing Ocean Literacy Santa Marta, Colombia

ICAN Steering Group Meeting

The International Coastal Atlas Network’s Steering Group meet on 11 September hosted by INVEMAR in Santa Marta, Colombia. The morning session met with the current ICAN work plan, some time spent on the strategic planning, and decisions on the future membership of the Steering Group. (See page x for information on the new ICAN Steering Group). The afternoon session was open and included several participants from the Ocean Teacher Global Academy course that started later in the week. The afternoon session dealt with how ICAN can support other IODE projects with reports on the Caribbean Marine Atlas, SPINCAM and the African Marine Atlas.

INVEMAR main building

ICAN 8 workshop Coastal Web Atlases – Enhancing Ocean Literacy

The ICAN 8 workshop Coastal Web Atlases – Enhancing Ocean Literacy was held on the following day, 12 September 2017 starting with the keynote lecture by Francesca Santoro, the ocean literacy lead for the International Oceanographic Commission. Dr. Santoro’s lecture was followed by sessions on Latin American approaches to ocean literacy, coastal web atlases and their role in advancing ocean literacy and technology supporting ocean literacy. Several presentations were made remotely including Marcia Berman’s presentation on  Story Maps and Coastal Web Atlases to support Climate Literacy in Virginia and David Hart’s presentation Advancing Great Lakes Literacy through the Wisconsin Coastal Atlas. Marcia and David were unable to attend ICAN 8 in person due to travel delays caused by Hurricane Irma. Other contributed presentations included Quantification of the impacts of tropical cyclones on the coasts of the Gulf of Mexico, the Western Caribbean Sea and on the urban, semi-urban and rural localities of Mexico by Agustín Fernández Eguiarte, Informatics Unit for the Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences of UNAM, Mexico, Science-society interface - From Academic Data to Practical Knowledge concerning Coastal Areas by Dr. Silvia Sartor, Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo, Brazil, The Sydney Harbour Atlas – Raising awareness of an urban marine ecosystem  by Andrew Sherin, Coastal and Ocean Information Network (COIN) Atlantic, Canada.  Presentations from Latin America included SPINCAM by Alejandro Iglesias Campos, IOC, UNESCO, Colombian national activities - Paula Cristina Sierra-Correa, INVEMAR and Julian Monroy, CIOH, Colombia’s Oceanographic and Hydrographic Research Center and the Caribbean Marine Atlas 2 by Carolina Garcia Valencia, INVEMAR.

Participants in ICAN 8

The workshop ended with a tour of the Marine Natural History Museum located at INVEMAR and a tour of the laboratories at INVEMAR.

A Story Map version of the ICAN 8 report is available for viewing at

Para nuestras Costas

Vol, 8, Nr 2 - Now Available!

We are now entering our 9th year publishing the ICAN newsletter. Many thanks to our Editor Andy Sherin!

Please consider preparing an article for the next newsletter that will likely be published in the spring of this year.

Happy New Year!

Photos from CoastGIS 2018

Our friends from CoastGIS 2018 have posted a wonderful gallery of photos, including the recent ICAN mini-workshop:

See how many ICAN members you can spot!