The Urgent Need to Address Ocean Pollution: Effects, Causes, and Solutions
Hello everyone, and welcome back to my blog page. There’s a very serious topic I’d like to discuss this week, and that is Ocean Pollution. More recently than ever, ocean pollution has become a MAJOR problem. Its effects have become much more serious and hurtful to ocean life and our own as well.
The Pervasive Threat of Ocean Pollution
I recently read an article that really goes into detail about what’s happening in our oceans and the kinds of pollution that are causing such harmful effects. I’d like to share this website article with you all as it’s just extremely interesting and taught me a lot that I didn’t even know about pollution. This web article is written by Melissa Denchak and is titled “Ocean Pollution: The Dirty Facts.” This article is recent in that it was posted only about a year ago, on January 22, 2018. This article came from a website that is called the NRDC, which stands for Natural Resource Defense Council. They post lots of different articles about climate change, communities, energy, food, health, water, the wild, and most importantly, our topic today: oceans.
Order your custom essay on
About once a year, they post articles pertaining to the ocean, more specifically ocean pollution, that’s about a page-long read. Some of their titles, from the years 2015-2017, are “What You Need to Know About Ocean Acidification,” “10 Ways to Reduce Plastic Pollution”, and “Go Green in Margaritaville: Eco-Friendly Beach Vacation Tips.” This website also has a couple of videos pertaining to the ocean as well that give valuable information that goes along with some of the articles on ocean pollution. Now, regarding why I chose this website article to talk about, in comparison to many other articles online, is their credibility. The NRDC is a group of around 600 people who are either scientists, lawyers, or policy advocates. Now, I don’t know about you, but I find scientists, lawyers, etc., to be credible people. The website has a part of it that you can go to called “Our Experts,” and you can click on it and read about the different people listed and their credibility and expertise pertaining to different fields in wildlife, etc. So, with all that out of the way, let me just dive right into the article itself.
Root Causes and the Call for Collective Responsibility
Melissa Denchak’s January 2018 NRDC article “Ocean Pollution: The Dirty Facts” discusses how “many forms of pollution are having a seriously negative impact on ocean life when she states, “As a result, collectively, our impact on the seas is degrading their health at an alarming rate,” There are many kinds of pollution that humans are contributing to that are really beginning to affect the ocean and its inhabitants in a very serious way.
These different forms are ocean acidification, trash in the ocean, ocean noise, and offshore drilling. All these forms of pollution are, in fact, damaging the health of many marine species. Denchak is correct in stating that ocean life is starting to decrease at a terrifying rate if we continue to allow pollution to consume all ocean life until there’s close to nothing left. The government should not be alone in trying to solve ocean pollution. It’ll take the work of all of society as one to begin to change our ways to better the world we live in. So, let me explain in more detail the specific forms of pollution Denchak gives in her article.
Ocean acidification is worsening with the effects that fossil fuel burning is contributing, and if not fixed soon, it will lead to the ocean becoming 150% more acidic than it is today. Research has shown that oceans are acidifying faster now than they have in almost 300 million years! That’s crazy, people! If we don’t come together to fix this problem now, our whole ecosystem will be affected, starting at the bottom with coral reefs and mussels. Did you know that in order to make their shells, these creatures require calcium carbonate? And did you further know that as the pH levels of the ocean rise, calcium carbonate levels go down? Yeah. So, if our ocean continues to increase in acidity, these creatures’ lives are threatened, and so too are the animals that feed off them and the animals that feed off them, etc., until there’s nothing left.
This is a picture of recent coral reefs taken by Oregon State University. As you can see, the tops of the coral are losing their color and turning white. This is due to acidification affecting the calcium carbonate. So right here is proof that ocean life really is being affected by the high rise in acidity.
Forms of Ocean Pollution: Acidification, Trash, Noise, and More
Moving on, a HUGE form of pollution that we are all familiar with is trash in the ocean. One main reason why trash like grocery bags, water bottles, straws, and milk containers (the list of plastic items goes on) is a big deal is that they don’t biodegrade! That’s why we have something called recycling! Well, then, you may wonder how all this trash gets to the ocean. A terrifying and sad reality is that trash is directly dumped into our oceans. But another why all this trash enters our oceans is through drains and sewers.
Melissa Denchak’s January 2018 NRDC article “Ocean Pollution: The Dirty Facts” talks about in her sixth paragraph how not only is trash like plastic a big problem but so is oil drips from different transportation vehicles when she states, “Oil from boats, airplanes, cars, trucks, and even lawn mowers is also swimming in ocean waters.” It is so upsetting to read about this happening because this is such an easy fix and is probably only happening because we are so careless. I personally have a boat on a lake in Michigan, and not once have we dripped oil from it. It’s so easy to be cautious and make sure that you don’t pollute the water you’re riding in.
Speaking of boats, ocean noise is another form of pollution that most people don’t even think about. I know I didn’t until I read this article. While this can be a problem in lakes, our main topic is the ocean, and there is where ocean noise is much worse. As you may or may not know, some marine life uses sound waves to communicate such as whales and dolphins. They use this form of underwater echolocation to locate food, to mate, and simply just to navigate. Well, with huge commercial and container ships roaming the oceans, echolocation for these animals can become very tricky.
This picture was taken by Anngu Chen/EyeEm, and as you can see, there are a TON of massive ships in this part of the ocean. Can you imagine all the sound underwater those gigantic engines are making? All of that loud extra noise disorients sound waves and can cause great problems for animals like whales and dolphins, who rely on sound to live.
Overall, this article gives out so much information that is necessary for us to read about and learn about. A lot of forms of pollution stated in the article I didn’t even know about, and I’m sure it was news to some of you, too. The more we can read up on how to prevent ocean pollution or even how we’re causing pollution in our oceans, the better we can work to help save our planet. It is so sad to think that we’ve ignored the ocean’s plea for help for this long that now it’s almost a matter of do or die. I hope that my review of this article has helped you to understand more about what’s going on and give you a better idea of how you can help prevent the killing of our ocean. My main argument for this post is, “What’s the big deal?”. I hope I’ve enlightened you, answered that question for you, and proved that ocean pollution IS a big deal and we need to act now to save it. Thanks for reading this week’s blog, and I’ll see you next week!
- Denchak, M. (2018, January 22). Ocean Pollution: The Dirty Facts. NRDC. Retrieved from https://www.nrdc.org/stories/ocean-pollution-dirty-facts