The ocean covers 71 percent of the Earth’s surface and contains 97 percent of the planet’s water, yet more than 95 percent of the underwater world remains unexplored.
The ocean and lakes play an integral role in many of the Earth’s systems including climate and weather. The ocean supports the life of nearly 50 percent of all species on Earth and helps sustain that life providing 20 percent of the animal protein and five percent of the total protein in the human diet.
One of every six jobs in the United States is marine-related and over one-third of the U.S. Gross National Product originates in coastal areas. The ocean is key to transportation, recreation and its resources may hold the cures to many diseases.
Because the oceans play such an integral role in sustaining life on Earth, protecting this important resource is vital.
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