The ocean holds great cultural and economic value and hosts numerous ecosystems that support life on Earth and produce valuable resources. USGS science focuses on improved understanding of many aspects of our world’s interconnected oceanic system, from the continental shelf to the deep sea.
The USGS is a world leader in characterizing the geologic structure; energy, biological, and mineral resources; and planetary-scale processes that occur at and beneath the ocean floor. The USGS brings state-of-the-art ocean research and scientific information to policymakers, resource managers, and the public in order to sustainably manage our limited marine resources.
The seven named oceans and many seas, bays, and estuaries, are all interdependent and connected as one global ocean. The importance of the ocean to our everyday lives is indisputable. It covers 71% of the Earth’s surface, provides over half of the oxygen we breathe, influences our climate, and provides abundant resources upon which the world depends.