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Our oceans take a large beating every day by the extremely large amount of pollution humans produce. Our society easily dumps their waste into the oceans to dispose of the excessive amount of garbage, sewage, and chemicals, but this small and simple solution is creating an even bigger problem. The way humans dispose of their wastes is causing the death of our beloved marine life. Not only are we killing off our animals, our food source, and our resources, we are also minimizing our usable water. By having a better understanding of the problem on the severe dumping, it will be easier to find ways to help minimize the pollution that is going into the ocean.
Pollution comes in many forms. In the ocean we dump a variety of substances, including human wastes, chemicals from fertilizers, oil, and trash such as plastic which all contribute to the growing issue of our ocean pollution. In addition to, our usable waters are finite. More than 97.5 percent of the water on this planet is undrinkable salt water; the remaining 2.5 percent has two-thirds of the usable fresh water locked up in glaciers, snow, and permafrost. Of the one-third of freshwater that is available for human use, 20 percent is used for industrial use. (“Water Pollution”) “In effect, water pollution reduces the volume of water available for use by human and other populations.” (Robin Clarke, Jannet King) Knowing that there are approximately 7.2 billion people and growing on this planet with only 0.83 percent of available for our use wouldn’t you want to do everything possible to help put an end to water pollution? (worldometers)
Industrial pollution is a large contributor to the pollution of our vast oceans. In 1996, 1.5 million cubic meters of industrial waste leaked into a river, killing all living things for several miles and in October of 2000 there were a large spill of toxic coal sludge in Kentucky. Industrial waste consists of heavy metals, solvents, toxic sludge, and more. Worldwide there are approximately 300 to 500 million tons of these wastes that will accumulate into water sources and within the United States, 60 percent of these hazardous waste are being injected into the ground where it can seep through and contaminate the water. (“Water Pollution”) Not only are we harming the creatures of the oceans and rivers, but we are also harming ourselves. The toxins that farms use such as fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals contaminate nearby rivers which flow into the oceans. The rivers carry the toxins into the oceans, which cause dead zones. Killing wildlife off or forcing them to evacuate out of the area. In the 1970s, there were 17 million tons of industrial waste that legally dumped into the ocean and later in 1980s, there was 18 million tons dumped. An act was created in the early 1970s to help regulate ocean dumping, but if that much waste is legally being dumped into the ocean the act should be changed. Not to mention, there is still the excessive illegal dumping which adds more waste for the marine life to fight against. (“Ocean Pollution”) Oil spills are another one of the leading factors in the industrial pollution. There have been many major oil spills all within the last century. For example, the Gulf War, Atlantic Empress, Fergana Valley, Nowruz Oil Field, ABT Summer, and more, all in which have spilled between 40 million to 336 million gallons of oil. (Casselman) Oil spills have major impacts on marine life. The three main direct effects include ingestion, absorption, and inhalation. If an animal swallows oil they can experience gastrointestinal irritation, ulcers, bleeding, diarrhea, and digestive complications. Their ability to absorb nutrients from their foods could be impaired which would lead to the reduction of health. Absorption of oil can cause liver and kidney damage, anemia, reproductive failure, and even death. If turtle eggs or fish eggs are exposed to oil, it could cause a slower rate of embryonic growth, decrease in hatching rates, and development impairments. Last, inhaling oil can cause pneumonia, respiratory inflammation, irritation and emphysema. (Ober) The list of side effects for ocean wildlife against oil is endless, so how can we help prevent these awful disasters?

Our oceans take a large beating every day by the extremely large amount of pollution humans produce. Our society easily dumps their waste into the oceans to dispose of the excessive amount of garbage, sewage, and chemicals, but this small and simple solution is creating an even bigger problem. The way humans dispose of their wastes is causing the death of our beloved marine life. Not only are we killing off our animals, our food source, and our resources, we are also minimizing our usable water. By having a better understanding of the problem with the severe dumping, it will be easier to find ways to help minimize the pollution that is going into the ocean.
Pollution comes in many forms. In the ocean we dump a variety of substances, including human wastes, chemicals from fertilizers, oil, and trash such as plastic which all contribute to the growing issue of our ocean pollution. In addition to, our usable waters are finite. More than 97.5 percent of the water on this planet is undrinkable salt water; the remaining 2.5 percent has two-thirds of the usable fresh water locked up in glaciers, snow, and permafrost. Of the one-third of freshwater that is available for human use, 20 percent is used for industrial use. (“Water Pollution”) “In effect, water pollution reduces the volume of water available for use by human and other populations.” (Robin Clarke, Jannet King) Knowing that there are approximately 7.2 billion people and growing on this planet with only 0.83 percent of fresh water available for our use wouldn’t you want to do everything possible to help put an end to water pollution? (worldometers)
Industrial pollution is a large contributor to the pollution of our vast oceans. In 1996, 1.5 million cubic meters of industrial waste leaked into a river, killing all living things for several miles and in October of 2000 there were a large spill of toxic coal sludge in Kentucky. Industrial waste consists of heavy metals, solvents, toxic sludge, and more. Worldwide there are approximately 300 to 500 million tons of these wastes that will accumulate into water sources and within the United States, 60 percent of these hazardous waste are being injected into the ground where it can seep through and contaminate the water. (“Water Pollution”) Not only are we harming the creatures of the oceans and rivers, but we are also harming ourselves. The toxins that farms use such as fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals contaminate nearby rivers which flow into the oceans. The rivers carry the toxins into the oceans, which cause dead zones. Killing wildlife off or forcing them to evacuate out of the area. In the 1970s, there were 17 million tons of industrial waste that legally dumped into the ocean and later in 1980s, there was 18 million tons dumped. An act was created in the early 1970s to help regulate ocean dumping, but if that much waste is legally being dumped into the ocean the act should be changed. Not to mention, there is still the excessive illegal dumping which adds more waste for the marine life to fight against. (“Ocean Pollution”) Oil spills are another one of the leading factors in the industrial pollution. There have been many major oil spills all within the last century. For example, the Gulf War, Atlantic Empress, Fergana Valley, Nowruz Oil Field, ABT Summer, and more, all in which have spilled between 40 million to 336 million gallons of oil. (Casselman) Oil spills have major impacts on marine life. The three main direct effects include ingestion, absorption, and inhalation. If an animal swallows oil they can experience gastrointestinal irritation, ulcers, bleeding, diarrhea, and digestive complications. Their ability to absorb nutrients from their foods could be impaired which would lead to the reduction of health. Absorption of oil can cause liver and kidney damage, anemia, reproductive failure, and even death. If turtle eggs or fish eggs are exposed to oil, it could cause a slower rate of embryonic growth, decrease in hatching rates, and development impairments. Last, inhaling oil can cause pneumonia, respiratory inflammation, irritation and emphysema. (Ober) The list of side effects for ocean wildlife against oil is endless, so how can we help save the ecosystem from these awful disasters?
There are several techniques used to help clean up oil spill disasters. To help recover a specific area the necessary equipment such as booms, barriers, and skimmers can help capture the spilled oil to be disposed of properly. In order to keep wildlife out of the area so birds and other animals are not harmed, the best way is to scare them. Dummies and balloons filled with helium are the easiest devices to keep the birds, in particular, away from the contaminated site. There is always the natural process of letting the oil evaporate, oxidize, or biodegrade, but these particular processes take too long and do not allow an adequate recovery. (“Oil Spill…”) According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, researchers, magnets can be use to help clean up costly oil spills. By mixing water-repellent nanoparticles that contain iron into the oil, the oil could then be magnetically separated from the water. In addition, the nanoparticles can later be removed from the oil therefore allowing the oil to be re-useable. Therefore, the most plausible solution would be to use magnets, but the research is not fully completed and some believe nanoparticles could be harmful to marine life if accidentally released. The last two possible techniques are skimming and chemical dispersants. Skimming does not have potentially negative impacts on marine life like chemical dispersants can, but it can be hindered in bad weather. “In my opinion, the new skimmers are the most hopeful and best method for cleaning up an oil spill and protecting health and the environment. They should be part of the safety equipment required by permit for every offshore drilling rig.” (Shaw) Overall, the best large-scale technique would be skimming as long as the weather does not interfere. (Thompson)
Our oceans are fragile to the constant threat of pollution, and they need the help of every willing person to keep the 405 identified dead zones from continuing to grow since the 49 in the 1960s. (“Oceans”) There is a large diversity of life that grows beneath the surface that faces death due to our garbage, sewage, chemicals, and more. The contribution can be as simple as cutting the plastic soda can rings that choke birds, sea turtles, sea lions, and other fish or as easy as scaring some birds and other creatures away from a bad oil spill. “Over 80 percent of marine pollution comes from land-based activities” and it is known that “house owners use chemicals that are 10 times more toxic per acre, than the amount used by farmers,” but by switching out the cleaning products to less harsh chemicals it may help prevent the death of marine life and help clean up the earth’s beautiful oceans. (“Marine Problems…”,”51 Facts…”) Water pollution does not only affect the creatures of the sea, but it also affects our health. Keeping the waters clean should be a number one priority.

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