(NAPSI)—Whether you live in Kansas or on Kauai, the ocean affects your life.
Covering more than 70 percent of the planet, the ocean is a vital source of life on Earth. Every other breath you take originates from the ocean. Weather patterns and climate are influenced by its currents. Seafood provides 13−16 percent of the world's protein.
Human beings depend on the ocean for a wealth of goods and services, yet, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), pollution, climate change and overfishing are diminishing the ability of the ocean to provide many of these benefits into the future.
"The ocean is our planet's life support system, and its health is waning," says Daniel J. Basta, director, NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. "We all have a stake in ensuring its health. Recovery starts with our personal actions every day."
Here's what you can do:
Clean up your act. Motor oil, antifreeze, toxic chemicals (including household cleaners), paints and pesticides that run off from yards and pavement frequently make their way to sea. Properly dispose of, or recycle, these products to avoid being a source of this pollution.
Don't trash where you splash. Millions of pounds of trash and debris end up in the ocean every year. A variety of this debris, including cigarette butts, glass bottles and plastics, injure and kill marine life. Keep our waters clean! Practice your 3 R's (reduce, reuse, recycle) to keep trash off the streets and out of the ocean.
Conserve energy. The burning of fossil fuels for electricity, heating and transportation releases harmful carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that affects ocean life. Biking, buying products made or grown locally, riding mass transit, drinking tap water and using alternative sources of energy are ways to reduce your impact on the environment.
Eat sustainable seafood. Many of the large fish we enjoy eating are fished at levels that can't be sustained. By making informed decisions about the seafood you eat, you're supporting healthy, abundant oceans.
Volunteer. Lend your time to support research, education and outreach at places that work to protect coastal and marine habitats, such as National Marine Sanctuaries.
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