I just completed the PADI Specialty of the Year, Project AWARE. In this "The Year of the Reef" with all the focus on Global Warming lets not forget the impact and importance of the aquatic environment both salt and fresh water.
Many people think that the oxygen we breath comes from trees and plant photosynthesis. That is only partially true the greater amount of oxygen is produced in our oceans. There are many more forms of life in our oceans and they all contribute to the processes that free oxygen into the air for us to breath.
Unfortunately polution, over fishing and both recreational and commercial fleets contribute to the degradation of our aquatic environment. This degradation has been observed as changes in the marine environment such as elevated temperature which cause plant and animal die offs and loss of some species.
We need to wake up and do everything in our power to reverse these changes. If the oceans die this planet will no longer support large animal life such as us.