Sailors for the Sea publishes monthly articles that translate the language of marine science into fascinating articles about ocean health.
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Those who sail come to know the ocean intimately; buoyed by its beauty and the rich life it nourishes, but also saddened by damage from pollution, over-exploitation, climate change or other problems.
Are there things boaters can do to lessen such problems and improve ocean health? What is the current status of the ocean's health, anyhow?
The Ocean Health Index is based on the premise that a healthy ocean provides a range of benefits to people now and in the future. This recognizes that people and the ocean must coexist, because human presence and activities affect nearly all aspects of the ocean and marine life and vice versa. In short, people need nature to thrive; and fostering a resilient, productive ocean will promote healthy sustainable societies.
The Ocean Health Index evaluates the world's oceans according to 10 public goals that represent key benefits of healthy marine ecosystems. Each goal is scored from zero to 100 signifying how well it is doing in achieving those benefits. The scores can be looked at by country and goal, and be averaged to produce a regions overall score.
Boaters have unique opportunities to help with these goals, particularly protecting sea grass and coral reef habitats, both of which provide a remarkable suite of benefits to people and marine life, benefits valued at nearly $12,000 per acre every year.