The Need is Urgent

The threats to our waters and marine species are growing at an alarming rate and there is a critical need to halt this destruction and to reverse what we can. Abuses on these marine ecosystems have taken away the health of our waters and a sustainable ecosystem as reported by UNESCO and other ocean conservation organizations:

  • The world’s oceans and aquatic ecosystems represent 99% of the earth’s living space, the largest known space inhabited by living organisms. In the past 4 decades marine species have declined by more than 50% and alarmingly, some fish species were found to have declined by over 75%. (1)
  •  70% of our food, commercial and pharmaceutical products come from ocean based-resources. Ocean acidification, resulting from climate change is having a negative impact on our coral reefs— beyond lost biodiversity, acidification will affect fisheries and aquaculture (the cultivation of aquatic animals and plants), and threaten food security for over 3 billion people worldwide. (2)
  • It is estimated that approximately 706 million gallons of waste oil enter our oceans every year, with over half coming from land drainage and waste disposal. (3)
  • Marine debris has contaminated our waters and we must put a stop to it: If a plastic bottle enters the ocean, it takes over 450 years to decompose that same bottle. (4)
  • It is estimated that more than 50 percent of the world’s mangrove forests have been damaged or destroyed with some countries having cut down over 80% of these essential habitats which provide vital storm barriers and nurseries for hundreds of species. (5)

Footnotes:
1. Source: NASA Oceanography (http://science.nasa.gov/earth-science/oceanography/)

2. Source: United Nations EP: Emerging Issues: Ocean Acidification- A Threat To Food Security

3. Source: Water encyclopedia (http://www.waterencyclopedia.com/Oc-Po/Oil-Spills-Impact-on-the-Ocean.html)

4. Source: US National Park Service, Mote Marine Lab

5. Source: AMNH (http://www.amnh.org/explore/science-bulletins/bio/documentaries/mangroves-the-roots-of-the-sea/mangrove-threats-and-solutions/

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