On World Oceans Day, let’s first check out the importance of water:
About 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is water-covered, and the oceans hold about 96.5 percent of all Earth’s water. Water also exists in the air as water vapor, in rivers and lakes, in icecaps and glaciers, in the ground as soil moisture and in aquifers, and even in you and your dog.
Water is never sitting still, though, and thanks to the water cycle, our planet’s water supply is constantly moving from one place to another and from one form to another. Things would get pretty stale without the water cycle!
Now let’s check out the importance of our oceans:
According to oneworldoneocean.org:
The Ocean Is Earth’s Life Support
• 50 to 70 percent of the oxygen we breathe comes from the ocean. That’s more than every one of the world’s rainforests combined.
• The ocean is the #1 source of protein for more than a billion people. Sea life provides one fifth of the average person’s animal protein intake.
• The ocean regulates our climate, absorbs carbon dioxide, holds 97% of Earth’s water, and supports the greatest abundance of life on our planet.
But The Ocean Is In Trouble
• 90% of the big fish are gone. Tuna, swordfish, halibut, cod, and flounder populations have been devastated by overfishing. Many of the fish caught today never even have the chance to reproduce.
Picture: Alp Baranok
• The average size of the remaining big fish has been cut in half or less in the last 50 years. The average weight of a swordfish caught today is 90 lbs., down from 266 lbs. in 1960.
• Discarded plastic bags and other trash have formed a toxic “plastic soup” that is gathering in five massive ocean gyres around the world. As the plastic breaks down, it is eaten by sea animals, birds, and fish, causing illness and death. It eventually enters our diets, too.
• Our oceans account for 71% of the planet, but less than 2% of our oceans are protected. We have protections in place for nearly 12% of all land (through areas like national parks).
So there you have it – now go celebrate our beautiful oceans and make a pledge today to do all you can to protect them!
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