It is evocative, emotive, poetic language. It means something like this.
1) People think of the ocean as just a body of bad-tasting salt water. They don't think of it as alive. They don't think of it as relevant to human experience. The land is real. The land is important. The sea is just a big useless empty space where the land ends. It's a good place to dump toxic waste. It does not "have a human face."
2) After I have talked about it, they perceive the ocean as alive, human, arousing emotions in us, "speaking" to us. Now it "has a human face."
3) I have "brought" a human face to the ocean.