Exploring the Oceans
Stephanie Wear explains how everyone can help protect our oceans and coral reefs.
Directors Jacques Penn and Jacques Cluzaud spent seven years at more than 54 locations around the world filming the stunning undersea footage in their latest Disney film, "Oceans."
Highlighting environmental issues and the unique animals that thrive under the sea, "Oceans" showcases more than 80 different species of marine life, including mammals, sharks, birds, crustaceans, reptiles, and fish.
Coral reefs are at a particularly important environmental crossroads, according to Nature Conservancy coral reef and marine expert Stephanie Wear. There are approximately 110,000 square miles of coral reefs in the world; threatened by pollution, overfishing, coastal development, climate change, and changing ocean chemistry, 70 percent of them will be destroyed by the year 2050 if the present rate of reef destruction continues.
Though coral reefs cover only about 1 percent of the ocean floor, they are home to 25 percent of all marine species. We rely on coral reefs for food (about half a billion people depend on them as a primary source of protein), jobs (some countries depend heavily on coral reef tourism), coastal protection (they break large storm waves), and medicine (coral reef animals produce novel chemical compounds with potential anti-cancer properties).
What You Can Do
You don't have to go to extremes to make a positive impact on the world's oceans.