Oceans are fundamental to the health of our plant – arguably the very lifeblood of Earth’s ecosystem. We take the value of our oceans for granted. 70% of the oxygen we breath is produced by marine plants; 97% of the Earth’s water supply is contained in the ocean; and 30% of carbon dioxide emissions produced by humans are absorbed by the oceans. Billions of people rely on the ocean for food, transport, and more.
The ocean is so large… it seems that us tiny humans couldn’t possibly have a large impact on it. But unfortunately, we do. Ocean pollution is a massive problem and spans the entire world. Runoff from land reaches the coast through rivers and other waterways (and of course, the coastline itself), creating literal dead zones. Solid waste – like plastic – takes centuries to decompose and finds itself washed up on shorelines and eaten by marine species who mistake it for food… or get tangled up in it.
So on that cheerful note, here’s an infographic about ocean pollution and how it affects humans directly.