By: Addison Strack
Ocean pollution is a major problem that is greatly affecting the world’s oceans, and this article will give information about how to prevent the issue.
There are two main types of ocean pollution that damage ecosystems in the ocean, and are harmful to the health of organisms in the ocean.
The first type of pollution is called chemical pollution. Chemical pollution is a result of runoff from the use of fertilizer and pesticides on farms, sewage, and more. An increased use of nitrogen and phosphorus in chemicals that end up in the ocean have promoted the growth of algal blooms, which can be toxic to wildlife and humans. These chemicals are also very harmful to ecosystems in the ocean.
The second type of pollution is trash pollution. The main type of trash that ends up in oceans is plastic items, such as shopping bags, beverage bottles and caps, food wrappers, and more. Plastics are the main type of trash pollution in the ocean, because plastic can take 100s of years to decompose, resulting in buildup of these items in the ocean.
Trash pollution is very dangerous to marine life, because they can get tangled in, and digest the trash. When small organisms eat micro plastics, which are very small pieces of plastics, they absorb the chemicals from the plastics into their tissues. When larger organisms consume these smaller organisms, the toxic chemicals then become a part of their tissues. Eventually, micro plastics will then reach part of the food that humans eat.
If we don’t do anything about ocean pollution, there will be multiple negative impacts. One of the most notable impacts would be that if ocean pollution continues, it will accelerate climate change. Mangroves, reefs, and other underwater ecosystems store large amounts of carbon, and because of this, the ocean contains the most amount of carbon in the world. Pollution can destroy these ecosystems, resulting in the carbon being released into the atmosphere, which contributes to climate change.
Ocean pollution also puts marine life in danger, and can lead to extinction and endangerment of underwater species.
There are multiple things that you can do to help prevent and reduce ocean pollution.
Reducing your waste is a major change that you can make in your everyday life, to help prevent ocean pollution. Avoiding singles use plastics, such as plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic straws, and more will help to reduce the amount of waste ending up in landfills, which could eventually make their way into the ocean.
Respecting the ocean is another thing that you can do. You can do this by fishing responsibly, making sure you don’t litter, and following rules when you are on the water.
Volunteering for beach and ocean cleanups in your community also helps immensely. You could participate in international events as well, such as Global Ocean Cleanup or The International Coastal Cleanup.
As seen above, protecting the world’s oceans is critical if we want to do anything to avoid worsening climate change, and ensure that the ocean will be accessible for generations to come.
If you would like to read more about ocean pollution and cleanups, feel free to visit the websites below:
- https://www.nature.org/en-us/what-we-do/our-insights/perspectives/what-happens-if-we-dont-pro tect-the-high-seas/