How Pollution Affects the Ocean and All of Us

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One major issue that’s currently happening in our nation that I’m interested in how pollution is affecting the ocean. Where does all this garbage go? It’s all dumped into the ocean. It affects all the marine animals and the whole ecosystem. It also affects people because when we fish for food in the ocean, most of the fish have plastic and garbage in them and people that go to their fish markets and end up having plastic and garbage in their stomach. The plastic that’s thrown in the waters harm the marine fishes, mamalas and sea turtles. This is a major issue because when we pollute the ocean repeatedly, we cause some species in the ocean to go extinct. This is very harmful because we need some species to keep the natural law in order and to maintain the food chain. At times it is not the material but the concentration of it that can determine if it is a pollutant. For plants to grow important nutrients like nitrogen or phosphorus are needed. However, if they there is too much of it in a body of water, it can trigger an overgrown algae resulting in an algae bloom. When huge amounts of algae sink and decompose in the ocean, the decomposition process consumes oxygen. Most of the marine species that home in that area die, or if they can move (like fish) will leave the area that is affected. If we don’t take care of our ocean it will hurt all of us in the future big time. We need our ocean in order to survive. If we continue polluting our ocean it will impact marine life including liver and lung problems, eye irritation and skin irritation to humans. Pollution impact the human body as well, it makes your immune system weak, and the risk of cancer and other dangerous diseases will increase.

Firstly, the most common is plastic pollution. According to the United Nations, “At least 800 species worldwide are affected by marine debris, as much of that is 80 percent of that litter is plastic. It is estimated that almost 13 million metric tons of plastic ends up in our oceans once a year.’ That’s a lot of plastic that ends up in our Ocean. Many marine mammals ingest debris, causing suffocation, starvation, and drowning. Plastic is a polymeric material which molecules are very large that’s why plastic takes about 100 years to fully decompose. Some of the plastic breaks down much quicker into tiny particles, which than end up in fish and other seafood people end up eating. And that ends up causing many harms to the human body. To prevent millions of tons of plastic going into the ocean, we have recycling organizations that prevent this solution from happening. Some well known organizations are “NYSAR” and “National Waste and Recycling Association”. Both of these nonprofit organizations have made an impact on reducing plastic pollution. Both organizations reduce the emissions of many greenhouse gases and water contamination and plus it saves energy.

According to the article, “Plastic Pollution Affects Sea Life Throughout the Ocean, “Plastic waste kills up to almost a million seabirds a year. Scientists have estimated that 60 percent of all seabird species have plastic in their stomachs. Which cause the seabirds stomach to be filled up and causing starvation. Multiple seabirds are found dead with their stomachs full of plastic”. The reason why seabirds eat so much plastic is because the smell of plastic is fouled by algae and that’s why so seabirds are attracted to plastic. Many birds also eat plastic and other debris by accident thinking it’s dead fish floating on the water. This can cause death to seabirds and an early stage and even their young ones. What we can do to prevent this situation is to reduce our use of disposable plastics bags and products, reduce and recycle what we can use, pick up litter, buy reusable grocery bags or reuse grocery bags, and do volunteer work at beaches to pick up any litter. If everyone did at least one of these helpful causes the world and the ocean would look a lot different than it is today. The ocean would be cleaner and sea life would thrive in a clean environment. Plastic in our oceans affects everything in the ocean that living. It affects tiny seahorses, jellyfish, and dolphins to the biggest whales and colossal squids in the ocean.

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Furthermore, another issue relating to pollution is toxic chemicals from industries and oil spills. These toxic chemicals include metals which are chemical elements. The agricultural and industrial waste is another form of waste that lands in the waters. Much land runoff is also ended up in the ocean. According to “What is Ocean Pollution”, “This occurs when water infiltrates the soil to its maximum extent and the excess water from rain, flooding or melting flows over the land and into the ocean”. So this causes the water to pick up the man-made pollutants into the ocean, which includes fertilizers, pesticides and other forms of soil contaminants. These waste from fertilizers, animal waste and human waste can lead to creating dead zones in the waters. Dead zones occur when there is an overflow of nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus. These dead zones have low oxygen levels because of the increased of nutrients so only a few animals are able to survive in these areas whereas may can not live. According the the article, “Chemical Pollution by Ocean Health Index”, “Many metals occur naturally in the environment, but anthropogenic emissions from industrial and mining activities can increase concentrations of many to toxic levels.” The toxic chemicals that have entered the waters and from the start it harms the marine life. These chemicals do not sink or get dissolved in the ocean. The small animals either knowingly or unknowingly consume these chemicals which are later eaten by predators of their kind. This leads to a disorder in the whole food chain. Causing the food chain to be unbalanced. Not only does it cause very dangerous life threatening opportunities for marine life, but it also raises the temperature of the water. This also another form of ocean pollution, known as thermal pollution.

In addition, thermal pollution is a sudden increase of the waters and makes the water quality of the ocean low. Therefore, since the toxic chemicals raise the level of temperature in the waters, the living organisms in the ocean can not live in those conditions and they fall. The Ocean Health Index also states that, “96% of mercury enters the ocean via atmospheric input.” However, some metals are dumped in the ocean by choice, some from waste dumps, or through agricultural and industrial wastes. Knowing that 96% of mercury enters the ocean, which is also consumed by the animals or marine life in the water. This is very harmful for humans or for other predators that consume these contaminated fish or etc. According to “How Ocean Pollution Affects Humans”, “For humans, consuming this kind of toxic contaminated seafood can lead to serious damage to their liver, kidney, immune system, or the central nervous system along with other organs in the body”.

Additionally, oil spills is a form of pollution and is a huge factor of ocean pollution in the waters. The ships that lose crates every year from natural causes or from human mistakes causes noise pollution in the waters as well. Other species can also invade the ecosystems of the marine life and can do harm to it by getting involved and ruining the life cycles of other organisms. This leads to a clash of mature that is already damaged from the overflow of other pollutants in the world. The crude oil spills last for many years in the ocean and is horribly harmful for the animals and plants living in the waters. The oil spill suffocate the animals or plants to death once they get caught in it. According to the article, “What is Ocean Pollution”, it states “Crude oil is also extremely difficult to clean up, unfortunately meaning that when it is split; it is usually there to stay.” As being said, once the oil spill occurs it is extremely difficult for it to be cleaned up and for the living organisms around that area to survive. The effects of oil spills on marine life is harmful in many ways. For example, the spilled crude oil gets on the gills of fish which eventually enters their immune system and suffocate till death. Since oil spills float on the surface of the waters, they block the sunlight from the living plants in the waters. This interrupts the cycle of photosynthesis for plants such as coral reefs. Another common one being the oil spill gets on the seabirds wing which makes it hard for them to fly, find food their children, or escape to survive. The long term effect of this damage on the plants and animals in the waters can cause behavioral changes, problems in the reproductive system, diseases for life, and even the extinction of a species.

Moreover, too much of a good thing can become harmful. The nutrients needed for plant growth can be harmful, if there is too much of it can set off an algal bloom. An algal bloom is set off because of the overgrowth of algae. According to the article, “Ocean Pollution by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration” it states “When large amounts of algae sink and decompose in the water, the decomposition process consumes oxygen and depletes the supply available to healthy marine life.” The oxygen levels decrease in the waters because it is being eaten by the process of decomposition. Not only do the animals in their lives are at risk but the waters will be containment and it can start an outbreak of a disease.

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How Pollution Affects the Ocean and All of Us. (2022, September 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 13, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/how-pollution-affects-the-ocean-and-all-of-us/
“How Pollution Affects the Ocean and All of Us.” Edubirdie, 15 Sept. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/how-pollution-affects-the-ocean-and-all-of-us/
How Pollution Affects the Ocean and All of Us. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/how-pollution-affects-the-ocean-and-all-of-us/> [Accessed 13 Apr. 2024].
How Pollution Affects the Ocean and All of Us [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 15 [cited 2024 Apr 13]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/how-pollution-affects-the-ocean-and-all-of-us/
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