1. Oxygen

The ocean produces more than 50% of the Earth’s oxygen through the plants that live in it. Phytoplankton, algal plankton and kelp produce this oxygen as a by-product of photosynthesis. So for every second breath you take, you can thank the ocean.

Photo: Julian Dufort

2. Climate Regulation

The ocean covers three-quarters of the earth’s surface and moves heat from the equator to the poles, regulating our weather. It acts as a crucial buffer from the impacts of climate change including absorbing over 90% of the heat that’s coming from the change in our climate. If it didn’t do this, the heat would already be intolerable for most life on earth.

How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.

Arthur C. Clarke

Photo: Torsten Dederichs

3. Home

Sixty percent of the world’s human population lives on the coastline. The ocean itself is home to 200,000 identified species, and that’s just the ones we know about! Around 95% of the ocean is still unexplored and has never been seen by human eyes.

Photo: Alex Martinez

4. Medicine

A lot of medicine comes from flowers and plants on land but finding new sources is difficult. Due to the ocean’s amazing biodiversity, there are more organisms for scientists to discover and develop new medicines from. Coral Reefs are home to species that contain pharmaceutical compounds that have the potential for treatments for some of the world’s most dangerous illnesses and diseases.

 Photo: Jayne Jenkins

5. Health and Wellbeing

Whether it’s walking along a coastal path, a family day on the beach, surfing the waves or diving under the surface, the ocean is a place of happiness and recreation for so many of us. There is a growing number of research projects looking into the positive impact the ocean can have on our mental health. It’s known the magnesium in salt water has a calming effect and exposure to the sea strengthens the immune system and helps normalise blood pressure.

Photo: Jeremy Bishop 

6. Life

Life began in the ocean over 3.5 million years ago and without it, there would be no life on Earth. The ocean is the lifeblood of this planet.

Photo: Oliver Sjöström

As ocean adventurers, the ocean brings so much fulfillment to our lives. And by donating to Project AWARE this #GivingTuesday, you can give something back. The funds raised go straight towards tackling the biggest threats the ocean is facing today – pollution and overfishing.

Together we’ve accomplished a lot, but we’ve still got a long way to go to eliminate marine debris and end the overexploitation of sharks and rays. And we can’t do it without YOU.

We are at a unique stage in our history, never before have we had such an awareness of what we are doing to the planet, and never before have we had the power to do something about that. Surely we have a responsibility to care for our blue planet. The future of humanity, and indeed all life on Earth, now depends on us.

Sir David Attenborough

Kick off the season of giving by giving back the ocean: www.projectaware.org/donate