Oceans and human health

Understanding the Connections Between Coastal Waters and Ocean Ecosystem Services and Human Health – Workshop SummaryReleased: February 20, 2014 Humans rely on the natural environment – such as oceans and coastal waters – for essential human services like providing food and essential dietary nutrients and purifying drinking water. These benefits are referred to as ecosystem services. Humans also rely on the environment for the natural cycles that renew the oxygen in the air, reduce carbon dioxide in the air, and recycle nitrogen. Disruption to these processes can create negative human health effects. The IOM held a workshop to discuss coastal waters and ocean ecosystem services in the United States and to understand the impacts on human health.

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