Saltwater Facts for Kids

Saltwater is a fundamental feature of our planet, found in oceans and seas around the globe. This remarkable resource is essential to life and provides various cultural, social, and economic benefits.

We rely on saltwater for transportation and trade routes, global food sources, as well as recreational activities like fishing and swimming. Additionally, saltwater plays an important role in the environment by helping to regulate climate change and providing habitats to millions of species of marine animals and plants.

Saltwater Facts for Kids

  • The ocean covers 71% of the Earth’s surface.
  • Saltwater is 3.5% salt.
  • Coral reefs are important habitats for marine life.
  • Dolphins are mammals that live in saltwater.
  • The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system.
  • Sharks have been around for 400 million years.
  • Sea turtles lay their eggs on beaches.
  • The Atlantic Ocean is saltier than the Pacific.
  • Seaweed is used in some foods and medicines.
  • The ocean is home to over 200,000 known species.

What is Saltwater?

Ocean water is made up of a blend of dissolved salts. The most prominent is sodium chloride, but it also contains magnesium, calcium, and potassium, among other minerals. It has an average salinity content of 35 parts per thousand – that’s 35g of salt for every 1000g of water – giving it a distinctive taste and texture.

The composition of ocean water can vary according to its location and the land around it. For example, coastal waters tend to have higher levels of human-made contaminants due to local industry or agriculture, whereas deep sea water is less polluted yet higher in magnesium as a result of volcanic activity in the region.

Why is Saltwater Important?

Saltwater is essential to life on Earth. It provides a unique habitat for a variety of marine life and helps regulate the climate. Its evaporation forms clouds, providing a steady source of freshwater.

Saltwater’s high salinity creates an ideal environment for aquatic creatures like fish, marine mammals, and crustaceans. The ocean absorbs vast amounts of heat from the sun, and this process helps keep temperatures stable globally.

The oceans are also part of the water cycle; saltwater evaporates and rises as clouds, which then produce precipitation when they move over land. This rain helps replenish rivers and lakes with much-needed fresh water. Evaporation also transfers latent heat from the ocean to the atmosphere, affecting global climates in complex ways.

What Animals Live in Saltwater?

Saltwater is home to a diverse range of marine animals, from microscopic plankton to massive whales. Some of the most well-known marine animals that live in saltwater include:


The salty seas are filled with a variety of species, from tiny sardines to giant sharks. And some of the fish most sought after by humans for food are tuna, salmon, and cod.

Humans have found great value in the saltwater realm for its nourishment. We have flourished off of these fish varieties in both physical and cultural ways. They provide a source of nutrition and sustenance that has been an integral part of our history and civilization.

At the same time, it’s important to be mindful that these creatures must remain well-maintained in order to benefit us sustainably. Taking only what we need while caring for their populations appropriately is key so that their delightful flavors and nourishment can be trusted again tomorrow.

Marine mammals

From whales to sea lions, a vast array of fascinating creatures call the ocean home. These marine mammals thrive in the salty depths, living unique lives rich in both physical and mental complexity.

Swimming through frigid waters with grace and speed, they form tightly-knit social groups. They navigate underwater acoustics to find food and companions — a feat that continues to amaze scientists. They also display remarkable intelligence — engaging in problem-solving, tool use, empathy, and even play behavior.

A wonder of nature, these marine mammals are integral components of our fragile ecosystem – each playing its part in keeping life balanced and healthy beneath the waves.


Saltwater abounds in a multitude of invertebrate life forms. The ocean is host to crabs, lobsters, shrimps, and octopuses – all animals that lack backbones.

These creatures thrive in the deep blue, playing an integral role within marine ecosystems through their critical roles as both predators and prey. Their unique adaptations for survival illuminate how diversity enriches the environment and is vital for life’s progress and development.

What Types of Plants Can Grow in Saltwater?

While saltwater may seem like a harsh environment for plant life, there are several types of plants that have adapted to thrive in saltwater environments. Some of the most common types of saltwater plants include:


Seaweed is an important component of marine life. It grows in saltwater and provides sustenance and shelter to many organisms.

It is an integral part of the food chain, and it plays a crucial role in maintaining biodiversity in aquatic ecosystems. Supporting various species, seaweed greatly influences the health of the environment.

Its presence also helps to regulate carbon dioxide levels, safeguarding the planet against global warming. Seaweeds are critical for sustaining our planet’s fragile natural balance.

Moreover, it has culinary applications due to its content of essential vitamins and minerals that promote human health and well-being–making it a worthy addition to one’s diet!


In shallow saltwater environments like bays and lagoons, a type of flowering plant called seagrass can be found. A critical home to countless fish and marine life, it helps maintain vibrant ecosystems.

Habitat restoration is essential for sustaining these habitats, allowing seagrass to continue its crucial role as a provider of food and shelter. Programs such as replanting, periodic trimming, and harvesting can preserve the local areas. Furthermore, controlling sediment influxes, reducing nutrient runoff from construction sites, and curbing water pollution are all necessary steps in safeguarding this valuable resource.


Mangroves are much more than just a group of trees and shrubs – they provide a vital role along the coastline. Not only do they help protect from erosion, but they also guard against tropical storms and cyclones.

Moreover, this environment sustains a plethora of marine life. From fish to crustaceans to birds, there’s an abundance of species that depend on mangroves for their survival. It’s clear that preserving these wetlands is vital for long-term coastal management.

Impacts of Saltwater on the Environment

Saltwater environments are both intricate habitats and a source of threats. Marine life thrives in these high-saline settings, yet its diversity can be drastically affected by changing salt levels. The salinity of coastal waters alters soil fertility and water quality, having serious implications on the health and well-being of communities living nearby.

Climate change is further compounding the problem. Sea levels are rising, temperatures are increasing, and acidification is occurring – all shifting migration patterns and diminishing habitats for marine life. Storm severity is intensifying, bringing more destruction to vulnerable coastal areas. We must strive to safeguard these valuable ecosystems from the harms of a changing planet if we are to abide by our responsibility to protect them for future generations.

The Economic Importance of Saltwater

Saltwater has no shortage of utilisations. From essential ecological juice to economic profit, it is a life source for many communities around the world. Fishing provides worthwhile sustenance and livelihoods, made more fruitful by exports and trade.

Moreover, saltwater serves as an idyllic destination for recreationists seeking reprieve in activities like swimming, boating, and fishing. These coastal draws bring captivated holidaymakers from afar, increasing employment opportunities while expanding financial wealth along coastlines worldwide.

The History and Cultural Significance of Saltwater

Saltwater has long imbued humanity with riches beyond measure. For thousands of years, coasts around the world have been closely linked to our development and culture.

From binding long-distance trade routes together to forming crucial fishing industries and distinctive culinary locales, these seaside populations have sustained us in more ways than one. These communities keep timeless traditions alive; practices such as fishing and seafood consumption evolve over time but never cease to belong.

We owe these interconnected histories a great debt. With ever-changing tides, our relationship with saltwater continues to expand – creating new links between people and places across the globe.

The Future of Saltwater Ecosystems

Our ocean and coastal environments are essential habitats that require our responsible stewardship. The impacts of human activities have been far-reaching and must be addressed in order to secure a sustainable future for marine ecosystems.

Reducing carbon emissions, limiting plastic waste, advocating sustainable fishing, and establishing protected areas are all effective steps we can take to protect saltwater environments from further suffering. Climate change also continues to unravel the delicate balance of these vital ecosystems – it is paramount to attend to its influences in the near future.


Saltwater is essential for the Earth’s well-being. Keeping a healthy balance of salinity and pH level upholds marine life, as well as maintains environmental stability.

It’s a precious resource that must always be respected, cherished, and protected. We have an obligation to understand its importance and implications in order to safeguard its fragile ecosystem. Maintenance of such balanced conditions helps ensure a sustainable future for all living things in the ocean, both now and in the years ahead.