June is National Oceans Month
Did you know that more than 50% of the world’s oxygen is produce by the ocean? It also stores 50 times more carbon dioxide than our atmosphere. The ocean plays a crucial role in our lives and there are many ways people can help protect it.
Every year, 8 million metric tons of plastics enter our ocean. Currently there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean, and around four billion plastic microfibers litter the deep sea. Plastic impacts 700 species, it has been found in more than 60% of all seabirds and in 100% of sea turtles.
By implementing waste collection and recycling globally we can not only address the issue of ocean plastic pollution, but can improve public health by preventing the spread of infectious disease, reducing respiratory illnesses from open air burning of waste, and prevent food chain contamination of both livestock and fish and shellfish.
Bacteria, found in the depths of the ocean, are used to carry out rapid testing to detect the presence of COVID-19. Species of robots (ROV) are used to collect samples to study communities and understand what species there are. The diversity of species found in our ocean offer great promise to combat illness and improve our quality of life.
Take a look at the Resources below to see how these ITEST projects are helping our oceans: