Why should we care about the ocean?

Our ocean provides countless benefits to our planet and all the creatures that live here.

infographic showing benefits of the ocean; text content of graphic can be found in the image caption

Our world ocean provides many benefits. Here are just a few examples. Want more? Browse through our pool of more than 300 ocean facts. With topics ranging from the ocean economy to microplastics to hydrography and even the depth of the ocean, there's sure to be a fact for everyone! Download this graphic and share it!

The world ocean provides so many benefits. Here are ten things the ocean does for humans and the planet:

  • The air we breathe: The ocean produces over half of the world's oxygen and absorbs 50 times more carbon dioxide than our atmosphere.
  • Climate regulation: Covering 70 percent of the Earth's surface, the ocean transports heat from the equator to the poles, regulating our climate and weather patterns.
  • Transportation: Seventy-six percent of all U.S. trade involves some form of marine transportation.
  • Recreation: From fishing to boating to kayaking and whale watching, the ocean provides us with many unique activities.
  • Economic benefits: The U.S. ocean economy produces $282 billion in goods and services and ocean-dependent businesses employ almost three million people.
  • Food: The ocean provides more than just seafood; ingredients from the sea are found in surprising foods such as peanut butter and soymilk.
  • Medicine: Many medicinal products come from the ocean, including ingredients that help fight cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, and heart disease.
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Last updated: 02/26/21
Author: NOAA
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