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We c a n n o t k e e p t a k i n g o u r p r e c i o u s ecosystems for granted. Science has demon- strated that. At least 70 percent of our world is covered in water, and oceans contain the majority of it. The largest space on earth is inextricably linked to our climate, too. Our oceans also provide shipping lanes, food and many other resources to which we have grown accustomed in our everyday lives. What is so amazing is that as they meet all these needs, they ask nothing in return. After years of dumping, oil and gas explo- ration, development, inadequate protection and unsustainable fishing practices, our oceans and their habitats are deteriorating, international research shows. With 90 per- cent of Florida's populace living along the coast, the ongoing devastation should be cause for alarm. Will our state continue to be the popular tourist destination it is if the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico became polluted wastelands? We do have the power to protect our oceans. All photos by Carolann Cahill SAVING THE OCEANS VISITORS TO MOTE MARINE WERE AMONG THOSE AROUND THE WORLD WHO RECENTLY PUT THEIR FOCUS ON THE EARTH'S VAST WATER RESOURCES Story and Photos By Carolann Cahill Contributing Writer ALL THE REST ...

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