The Earth is four and a half billion years old. History states that before there was any life on this planet, we already had our oceans. Oceans where all life came from approximately four billion years ago and that was even before the first life form had eyes to witness its magnificence.
The oceans constitute to about seventy-one percent of the earth’s surface, ninety-nine percent of all living space on this Earth and it supports up to eighty percent of all of Earth’s life forms. Just to give you an idea how massive the oceans are, the record shows we have explored less than ten percent of it, with about ninety percent more left to scour, of which ninety percent of the total oceanic volume is part of the deep dark sea. According to the United States Geologic Survey the amount of water that can be found in our oceans, seas and other bodies of salt-water combined amount to an astounding three hundred twenty-one million cubic miles of water. Imagine how many Olympic-size pools you can fill with it. If that does not make you feel small, we don’t know what will.
So far we have been able to identify approximately two hundred thirty thousand marine life forms over the course of our existence. We believe that there are about two million more species of marine life that is yet to be found especially that much of our oceans are left unexplored.
Time is rapidly changing, turning against us. Global natural catastrophes happening left and right. Nature is crying for help. How much louder should she scream at us? We need to make drastic changes in our very existence to put out the fires we started and to restore our damaged planet. In a National Geographic documentary series, Cosmos, it stated that our existence, from when we parted from our hominin ancestors, from when learned how to stand up and we were no longer fixated on what is on ground then we learned to wander, to look up and forward, is a mere last hour in the cosmic calendar of our universe. Who are we to destroy this planet? Who are we? That it took us just the last hour to cause this much damage. Recognize that we are just tiny specs of dust hitching a limited ride in this ball of water and rock in the vastness of space. It is now up to us to save it.
Majority of the pollution found in our seas comes from land. A total of eighty percent of all oceanic pollutants are sourced from nonpoint source pollutions that include septics, motor vehicles, forests and farms. The waste is delivered to the oceans by run-off. If we fail to implement a long-term solution to the run-off problem there will come a time when the marine ecology will not be able to bounce back. Another problem is global warming. With the increasing water temperatures and acidity of our oceans, we are witnessing before our eyes massive coral bleaching and extensive irreparable damage to coral reefs. As you may already know, corals play an important role not only supporting and enhancing marine ecosystems but it also plays a role preserving our shorelines, help with the nitrogen and carbon fixation by housing diazotrophs in form of cyanobacteria in our oceans as well as assist in recycling nutrients in the ecosystem. If we do not protect the reefs, the marine ecosystem in these areas will deteriorate and we are already seeing that. If we do not the hazardous
effect of nonpoint source pollutants and mitigate the effects of global warming we will probably experience the sixth mass extinction in the history of this planet during our generation.
As it is the largest of all ecosystems, the ocean hosts major factories of oxygen in the form of photosynthesizing planktons, algae and kelps. With these, the oceans generate more oxygen than all trees combined on all of our lands. Matter of fact, statistically, it produces seventy percent of all of Earth’s oxygen compared to the mere thirty percent is combined oxygen produced by trees and all other sources. Can you imagine the ocean devoid of life? Can you imagine, one day, being alive struggling to breathe because the ocean is dead? Can you, with a good conscience, tell our children there was nothing we could have done? Do we need to wait? Our move.