Guest Blog by Torben Lonne, Co-Founder and Chief Editor of DIVE.in

The ocean is the most beautiful and diverse ecosystem on the planet. It provides over 97% of the world’s water supply and over 70% of the oxygen we breathe. Without the ocean, we would not exist.

However, the ocean is on the brink of disaster. Over 8 million tons of plastic is being dumped into the ocean and this is causing untold devastation for marine life, plants and habitats. Even though these dumping areas are hundreds of miles offshore, plastic is still finding its way back to our beaches and coastlines. Not only is this pollution harmful for marine life, it is also affecting life on earth.

The ocean has the ability to absorb 30% of the carbon dioxide emissions produced by man and without this, our planet would succumb to the devastating affects of global warming.

Becoming aware of pollution and its affects on the environment is the first step in protecting our oceans. Once you realise how vital this system is to our existence, you will want to go out of your way to protect it for our generation and for the generations yet to come.

There are a number of associations, which have dedicated their time to protecting the oceans and they offer volunteering programs to help you get involved.

The NOAA- Office of National Marine Sanctuaries has created volunteering programs which include diving, whale species identification as well as beach clean ups which can help you to get a hands-on approach to protecting our oceans and the species that live within. You can find the information for these programmes here… http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/involved/volunteer_future.html

In addition, if you are looking to volunteer on your next vacation, why not take a look at http://www.workingabroad.com/projects/C3/marine-conservation, which list a number of marine conservation projects to help you get involved.

If you would like to learn more about the ocean and how ocean pollution can affect marine life as well as humans, then take a look at the fascinating infographic, created by the team at divein.com.

Thanks to Toden Lonne for the great post and volunteer program ideas! Learn more about them at https://www.divein.com.