Healthy oceans are vital for human life, for wildlife, and for the planet. Oceans cover more than
70 percent of the Earth's surface, produce about half of all the oxygen that we breathe,
and act as the largest carbon sink in the world, playing a critical role in regulating climate. Oceans also provide jobs, recreation, and food for billions of people.
We must protect and restore our oceans and coast for our health, our economy, and our future.
Coastal pollution can cause
skin rashes, respiratory illnesses, and other infections.
Eighty percent of ocean pollution comes from the land. Much of this pollution comes from sewage, fertilizers, and industrial runoff which can cause "dead zones" in the ocean that can kill marine life due to a lack of oxygen in the water. The
Great Pacific Garbage Patch, located off the coast of California, is the largest ocean garbage site in the world. This floating mass of plastic is twice the size of Texas, with plastic pieces outnumbering sea life six to one.