Each day, thousands of pounds of trash are dumped into our oceans. According to Scuba news, Over 1 million seabirds and 100,000 sea mammals are killed each year. Some of the debris ends up on our beaches or floating in our oceans, and a lot of the debris ends up being eaten by marine animals, who mistake it for food.
Common man-made pollutants that reach the ocean include pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, detergents, oil, sewage, plastics, and other solids. Two of the largest pollutants in our oceans are Oil and Plastic. These pollutants can often collect in the depths of our ocean’s, where they can be eaten by small marine organisms. When these organisms consume the pollutants, this can introduce any of the man made pollutants into our food chain.
Some may argue that pollution in our oceans is not life threatening, and will not affect our world, present day. Many also have a false impression that the earth has an abundance of clean water, so many seem to disregard this large problem our world is currently facing.
Oil is a pollutant that is extremely harmful to marine life, entering the ocean through land drainage and oil spills. According to Scuba News, this oil suffocates marine life and completely changes the local ecosystem of any areas it comes into contact with. While oil is very damaging, the biggest problem is undeniably plastic, with over 5 trillion pieces of plastic debris floating around in the ocean.
Plastic is damaging to wildlife in many ways. Animals can become trapped in plastic, and other debris found in our oceans can also be a choking hazard. With marine life mistaking the plastic for food, often times resulting in death.
Oceanic Pollution does not only affect marine life and their environment, it also affects mankind. The many chemicals that are found in the ocean can contaminate water supply or our food chain by affecting the marine life involved. Humans can be exposed to these dangerous chemicals by eating seafood, or traces of pollution can also be found in our water supply. If exposed to these chemicals for a long period of time, many health problems could occur.
There are many organizations such as the Ocean Conservancy, Oceana, and the Oceanic Preservation Society that are working to fight against oceanic pollution. These organizations advocate for the protection of marine life habitats, and for reducing the human impact on ocean ecosystems.
You may be wondering, how can we as individuals help our oceans?
Although pollution has already taken a large toll on our oceans, we can try our best to lessen pollution in the future. First, using reusable plastic products will greatly diminish the amount of plastic that pollutes the ocean.
We can also pick up the litter and trash on our beaches, or reduce the amount of energy that we use. As humans, we use tons of energy each day, and it is greatly affecting our environment. Small ways we can reduce our energy use includes turning off your lights, unplugging appliances when not in use, also, walking or cycling rather than driving.
These small changes that you can make to your life can greatly help our environment and lessen the pollution on earth.
Our oceans are such a critical part of the earth’s ecosystem, and we need to start treating them with respect and care.
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