Our Ocean, by the Numbers
Happy World Oceans Day! Today we honor the oceans that give us everything from the food we eat to the air we breathe.
Published June 08, 2017
Why We Should Celebrate the Ocean, by the Numbers:
- Earth’s surface is 71 percent water, and the ocean is the primary support system for life on this planet. The entirety of the ocean can be harmed by human impact, which means that we all share the responsibility to protect what sustains us.
- The ocean absorbs more than 30 percent of carbon dioxide produced by humans. The ocean provides a natural buffer against climate change, but excess carbon dioxide causes ocean acidification, which harms the health of coral reefs and many other animals. Taking simple steps to reduce your carbon footprint also reduces the impact on our ocean.
- Farmed fish and shellfish now make up more than half of global seafood supply. The responsible farming of fish, shellfish and sea vegetables—known as aquaculture—is good for people and the planet, and will be critical to meeting food security needs around the world as global population continues to grow.
- Every year, an estimated 8 million tons of plastic enter the ocean. More than 18 million pounds of trash were kept out of the ocean worldwide from the annual International Coastal Cleanup. Since 1999, the National Aquarium has worked with more than 5,000 volunteers to clean up more than 1 million pieces of litter.
Take steps this World Oceans Day to commit to simple actions that pack a powerful punch! You can help protect our oceans by joining a conservation event, or by being environmentally friendly at the beach this summer.