Flexi Says: Human impacts on the ocean have negatively affected sponge habitats. Humans have caused ocean pollution, oil spills, and disturbance of sediments on the ocean floor. Burning fossil fuels also increases carbon dioxide absorption by the oceans which is acidifying the water. These factors can impact sponges at the community level by decreasing the diversity and density of benthic communities associated with deep-sea sponges. At the individual level, sponge filtration can be interrupted by increased sedimentation and microplastic pollution.