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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Our Ocean

The ocean covers almost three quarters of our planet and is critical to maintaining life on earth. It regulates the climate and weather, generates 50 per cent of the oxygen we breathe, and absorbs excess carbon. No matter where people live, they depend on the ocean for the food they eat and the air they breathe.


Chile to Host Our Ocean 2015 Conference

The United States looks forward to Chile hosting the next Our Ocean conference on October 5-6, 2015, and is working closely with the Government of Chile to maintain momentum from the first conference.Our Ocean 2015 Website»

Latest News Our Ocean Conference Take Action

Challenges Facing Our Ocean


Date: 2015 Description: Still of ''Sustainable Fisheries'' Video. Text Reads: Over 3 billion people rely on our ocean for animal protein - State Dept Image

Date: 2015 Description: Text Reads: The oceans are changing faster than almost any time in earth's history, and we are the agents of that transformation.  - State Dept Image

Date: 2015 Description: Text reads: ''Only humans create waste that nature can't digest'' - State Dept Image

Sustainable Fisheries

The oceans face serious challenges that threaten the sustainability of marine fisheries. Catches of many types of fish in the ocean are declining while demand continues to increase. Overfishing harms the ecology of the ocean, while also reducing the long-term potential of fish stocks to provide food and jobs for the future. Harmful fishing practices have unintended impacts on species of birds, marine mammals, sea turtles and non-target fish stocks. Learn more

Marine Pollution

An estimated 80 per cent of marine pollution originates on land – pollutants that threaten wildlife and the health and safety of humans. Nutrients, coming from sources such as agricultural runoff, sewage and wastewater discharges, create “dead zones” where fish and other marine life cannot thrive. There are an estimated 500 dead zones in the world.

Marine debris, such as trash and other solid material, enter ocean and coastal waters and threaten wildlife and the health and safety of humans. Plastics consistently make up a significant portion of all marine debris. We can combat the marine debris problem through proper collection, handling and recycling or disposal of trash, as well as by reducing consumption and packaging. Learn more

Ocean Acidification

As the ocean absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, it becomes more acidic. Many marine organisms are unable to adapt to the new conditions. Today, the ocean is 30 per cent more acidic than it was before the Industrial Revolution. And, the chemistry of the ocean is changing ten times faster than at any other time in the past 50 million years. Learn More


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