Photo: Do you know what the oceans provide?

(Credit: Mr Theklan via Flickr.)

While a crimson sunset on the beach can be breathtaking, this pretty view isn't all our oceans provide.

We wouldn't have enough oxygen to breathe or protein to eat without healthy oceans, and the Earth's climate would be uninhabitable for human beings and many animals. Medicines, food, and drinking water are derived from ocean processes. These processes are sometimes referred to as "ecosystem services" or "ecosystem benefits" because they are provided by natural systems.

The value of these ecosystem services (economic and otherwise) is immeasurable — all the wealth in the world couldn't buy a substitute for the services the ocean provides free of charge. In the process of developing a a conservation and management plan for PNCIMA, it is important to consider the relevant ecosystem services the ocean provides.

Take an interactive tour of the ecosystem services off of Canada's Pacific North Coast.

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