Plants in the sea are the center of the food chain. Without these plants we would not have many things humans need to live. Also humans accidentally kill these wonderful plants.
One thing that could change without these plants is medicine. Some kinds of medicine are made from kelp and other plants in the sea. These plants are endangered. We endanger them by oil spills and trash and pollutants being dumped in the water. Boy are we messy! Without medicine the people who get the sicknesses are in danger. Sometimes your body can’t fight the sicknesses alone, and that is where the medicine kicks in. Sometimes without the medicine your body can recover on its own, but other times you can get sicker, or you could even die. So without these plants we could not have the medicine we desperately need.
Another thing that could happen if all the plants in the sea died is that we wouldn’t have some food that we have now, especially fish. If the plants died, the fish would all start to die out and become endangered. Plankton lives in some plants, little fish eat the plants, bigger fish eat the little fish, and so on. Without the plants, the plankton can’t live and then the little fish can’t live, and so on. This is called the food chain! We would not be able to eat the fish or anything else in the sea, since the fish would be endangered they would have to be left alone. In other words, it would be illegal to eat them.
Kelp and other sea plants are in some kinds of foods that we eat. They are in puddings, yogurt, ice cream, and jelly. Kelp and other sea plants are used in foods to thicken them. Also kelp is used in toothpaste. Without kelp and other sea plants, we wouldn’t have these things, and if we did the foods and toothpaste, wouldn’t be as thick. Gross, that would be really disgusting to have watery toothpaste! Did you ever think of that?
We might not have as much oxygen as we do now. Oxygen is a gas in the air that humans and all animals need to breathe in order to live. All plants give off oxygen in a process called photosynthesis. The plants in the sea do give us oxygen, but not as much as our plants and trees on land. That does not mean that the plants on land are more important.
Will Our Plants Ever Die Out?
Scientists think that in 2050 to 2100, we may not have plants in most parts (if not all) of our seas. They think this because over the last 30 years kelp and other plants have dropped in size and number. There are some small reasons that this happened, and there is one BIG reason. The big reason is humans spilling oil, trash, and pollutants in the ocean. It is called polluting the water. Another one is that the nutrient in the sea dissolved in the ocean water, so plants in the sea can not have as much nutrients. The other reason is the increase in temperature: a rise of 1.5°C since 1960 in some oceans. Plants in the ocean cannot survive as long if the water is too warm. So the plants in that area can die.
To make sure that the plants stay around until the next century, the marine national parks are protecting them all over the world. But that is still not enough! Humans need to stop polluting the water, or we will have to pay the consequences.