Washington, DC - U.S. Secretary of State Kerry today issued a call to action to people around the world to help protect our ocean, an encouragement as the Our Ocean Conference hosted by the Department of State in Washington, D.C., approaches on June 16-17.

The conference will focus on three key issues - sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, and ocean acidification - and will bring together ministers, scientists, advocates, and other members of the international ocean community - to create a healthier ocean.

The ocean covers almost three-quarters of our planet, but our ocean today is at grave risk, and the damage is not happening by accident. Human activity is the cause. Harmful fishing practices, even illegal fishing; giant garbage patches; hundreds of dead zones; and rising carbon dioxide levels — all of it threatens life in the sea. That is the bad news. The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way.

This Call to Action is one of many opportunities for the public to engage on ocean issues and to register their support for protecting our ocean.

You can see Secretary Kerry’s call to action video. More information can be found at www.state.gov/ourocean and you can join the conversation using hashtag #OurOcean2014.