Survey Says: Americans Care About Ocean Health

As part of the U.S. National Marine Sanctuary System’s upcoming 50th anniversary, the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (NMSF) partnered with NORC at the University of Chicago to conduct a nationwide poll surveying Americans coast to coast about ocean conservation, climate change and their awareness and support for stronger protection.  

Americans, regardless of demographics, political party or geographic location, care deeply about the ocean and its health, according to the survey. They want the government to do more to protect the ocean and ensure business activities do not harm ocean life.

Most survey respondents (83 percent) say that the ocean’s role in sustaining marine life and habitats is extremely or very important. Americans also recognize the critical life-sustaining services the ocean provides, such as the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat.

Over a third of respondents who live in coastline counties say they have personally seen the effects of climate change on the ocean and coasts, and 32 percent who have visited the ocean since 2019 said the same. Fifty-five percent think climate change is having a major impact on habitat loss. 

Life on earth is not possible without the ocean. The wide variety of life in the ocean and its ecosystems underpins the health of the planet and social and economic well-being. 

See survey details here.

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