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Did you know that without the ocean, you would not be able to survive in this world? The ocean provides us with the water we drink and the air we breathe. Ocean Pollution is becoming a major problem, some people just don’t care about the ocean. Most people think that throwing trash in our local waters would not have an affect on them. What they don’t know is that the ocean not only that it affects marine life, but also human life.
We question what causes ocean pollution and we also question what we can do about it to solve this problem. There are chemical spills, sewage pollution, global warming, effects on marine life and effects on human life as well. Ocean Pollution may be a huge problem but many don’t consider it to be as big of a problem than getting free wifi for a hotel room.
One of the major problems of ocean pollution is chemical pollution.
For example, automobiles and coal-burning power plants release harmful particles into the atmosphere. These particles settle in the water, carrying with them chemicals such as mercury. Mercury can grow into tiny plankton, which are eaten by fish, and ends up affecting humans as they eat the fish. “Chemical pollution can come from a single large event, such as an oil spill, but it also comes from many small sources, such as oil leaked by automobiles and carried by rain and waterways to the ocean. Only a small portion of oil in the ocean comes from major spills”(Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia).
All different types of chemicals have different effects on humans it really depends on where it came from. “Bacterial, viral and parasitic diseases like typhoid, cholera, encephalitis, poliomyelitis, hepatitis, skin infection and gastrointestinal are spreading through polluted water”(Mehtab Haseena).
Another form of pollution in the ocean is sewage. “Sewage is another important kind of ocean pollution that must be solved because it carries disease-causing microbes. When it rains, sewage is often discharged into harbors and beaches. Towns may monitor bacteria levels in the water to alert beachgoers when the water is polluted with sewage”(Alfred J. Andrea). For example, all the trash that people litter in the streets gets washed into the sewer whenever it rains. Usually the sewer is for water to go in when it rains but it turns out that the trash will be dragged along with the water. According to an article “Ocean Pollution” by Maclnnes David F., Jr., and Kahler Karen N, “Land-based sources account for approximately 80 percent of the pollutants that enter the marine environment.” Most of the trash comes from the sewage due to all the rain storms that occur. Therefore sewage is a major cause of illness around the world due to the viruses and the bacteria being spread around in the ocean from all the rainstorms. Therefore the sewage is being mixed with all the viruses and bacteria in the ocean, which is a major cause of illness around the world.
Global Warming has an impact on the ocean due to the climate change. Climate change causes rising sea levels and it ends up creating a tsunami or even an earthquake. With global warming, tsunamis will become more common and wipe out coastal cities. “Climate change is affecting ocean temperatures, the supply of nutrients, ocean chemistry, food chains, wind systems, ocean currents and extreme events such as cyclones”(Healey). The burning fossil fuels is the main cause of global warming, fossil fuels could also be involving ocean plastic debris and tiny fish living beneath the sea. Fish at the bottom of the sea end up eating plastic debris rather than eating the food they are suppose to eat. Global warming can cause a large amount of sea creatures to lose its population.
Going into the effects it has on marine life. Waste disposal, such as chemicals and sewage, has been recognized as a potential threat to the environmental quality of waters. Everyday, marine life are getting caught in some kind of plastic material. Most think that only fish are affected from getting caught in these but sadly, not many know that they also kill birds, turtles, dolphins, seals and many other mammals swimming in the sea. Marine animals end up eating plastic as they think its a source of food due to the large amount of debris. According to John H. Tibbetts, the author of the article, “Managing Marine Plastic Pollution”
says “by one estimate, the volume of plastic debris going into the world’s ocean could more than double by 2025.” The marine life are harmfully affected by this pollution, as to harming humans as well. Something even more terrifying than marine life struggling is us humans
Although tsunamis and earthquakes may kill many people, there is still a large chance of any of that to happen. Other than natural disasters, another way ocean pollution can affect humans is the diseases that get spread around in the ocean. It runs like a cycle because the humans make the decision to harm the ocean, therefore harming the marine life, and also harming themselves. “Phytoplankton introduced by ballast water may be associated with regional algae bloom that endangers human health via shellfish poisoning and respiratory illness” (Halle- graeff and Bolch 1992; Epstein 1995). “Toxins in industrial waste are the major cause of immunosuppression, reproductive failure and acute poisoning. Infectious diseases, like cholera, typhoid fever and other diseases gastroenteritis, diarrhea, vomiting, skin and kidney problem are spreading through polluted water” (Mehtab Haseena). Human health is affected by the damage of plants and animal nutrition. Health risk involved with polluted water has different types of diseases such as “respiratory disease, cancer, diarrheal disease, neurological disorder and cardiovascular disease.”. Anything can occur because it all depends on what chemicals or bacterias that are being spread around the environment.
At the end of the day, ocean pollution is harming both human beings and marine animals. I believe that one person can make a difference and create a movement to prevent chemicals, and sewage from entering our oceans as well as saving marine life. Chemicals and sewage is the major cause of Ocean Pollution, it causes global warming and it creates a dangerous hazard for the marine life environment, then ends up affecting humans as well. Ocean pollution is a huge problem that we need to solve. Sure, why should we care about the life of sea creatures, ocean pollution doesn’t even affect us that much. It may seem like it doesn’t affect us but most don’t know about the diseases that is being spread by ocean pollution. In the near future, I plan to build an organization where groups of clean-up crews tidy up the beach every weekend. I also plan on creating a project where trash will be collected before it enters our local water but for as of right now, I suggest everyone to pick up after their own trash or any waste you see in the streets. By working together, we can make a difference in our earth, one clean act at a time.
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