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Our Changing Ocean

Sunset near Lazy Point, Long Island, NY.

Vast and powerful though the ocean is, people have changed it. It’s a different ocean now. The ocean’s enduring surface beauty hides its plight. But the ocean today is a diminished version of a much healthier ocean of not so long ago. The ocean is the source of about half the oxygen we breathe, much of the water we drink, and much of the food we eat. (If you don’t eat fish, consider this: about a third of the world fish catch gets made into feed for chickens, pigs, and other livestock.)

Changes to the ocean undermine the health and well-being of people and wildlife worldwide. These changes include depletion from overfishing, warming, ocean acidification caused by the same carbon dioxide that is warming the atmosphere and the upper sea, chemical pollution, plastic debris, loss of wetlands, coastal mangrove forests, and coral reefs, and invasive species. Each of these alone is serious. Can any particular part of the oceans survive these things happening all at once?  The answer is: “it depends.” There is still time to reverse course and restore the ocean to a healthy balance.

Many dedicated people and organizations, including The Safina Center, are working actively to solve the oceans’ problems. Be a part of this hopeful work.  Jump in and help save the oceans! Dive into our Issues section to learn more. Being knowledgeable will help you decide what part of the solution is just for you.