Peanut butter, every other breath you take, cancer medicine, and one in six jobs in the United States.
What’s the connection?
It’s not Kevin Bacon. But if you guessed our oceans, you’re right!
You don’t need to live near the beach to be connected to the ocean. Oceans and coasts affect people’s lives every day, around the world.
The Air We Breathe
Oceans are a critical player in the basic elements we need to survive. Ocean plants produce half of the world’s oxygen; then these amazing waters absorb nearly one-third of human-caused carbon dioxide emissions. Oceans also regulate our weather and form the clouds that bring us fresh water.
The Food on Your Plate
Besides seafood, oceans are connected to what you eat in many more ways. Ocean ingredients, like algae and kelp, are used in making peanut butter, beer, soy milk, and frozen foods. Plus, 36 percent of the total catch from the world’s fisheries each year is ground up into fishmeal and oil to feed farmed fish, chickens, and pigs.
The Items in Your Medicine Cabinet
You’ll find ocean ingredients flowing out of your medicine cabinet in everything from shampoos and cosmetics to medicines that help fight cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, viruses, and other diseases.
Jobs and the Economy
One in six jobs in the United States is marine-related, and more than $128 billion in GDP annually results from ocean tourism, recreation, and living resources. Healthy marine habitats like reefs, barrier islands, mangroves, and wetlands help protect coastal communities from the results of hurricanes and storm surges.
A Shared Resource
While many of us enjoy the spectacular recreational activities that oceans offer, oceans are a lifeline for survival for some people. Keeping oceans healthy keeps people healthy, and we each have a personal responsibility to protect our oceans.