Over 72% of the Earth is covered in water, life giving water without which the human race cannot survive. With global warming and the melting of the polar ice caps, the percentage is increasing. Unfortunately, at the rate people are polluting and destroying the marine environment, the increase in water may mean less life rather than more! Marine Pollution is a problem.
What is causing marine pollution? This question has one simple answer, that can become complex: Activities of Man. Those activities can include a wide range of pollution. There is physical dumping in the seas of rubbish and sewage. On one small, uninhabited Island that is less than 100 yards wide, surrounded by rock and several miles from any other place, yet used by endangered seabirds for nesting, conservationists collected 8 bags of rubbish, close to 300 pounds. Most was dropped overboard from ships and freighters, some, based upon labels, washed all the way down from Canada or up from Brazil.
But there are other sources of pollution than just offshore traffic, think about agriculture. Most consider farming to be environmentally friendly, but is it? It involves a constant tilling of the soil and use of extensive pesticides to control insects as well as weeds. The freshly turned dirt erodes faster, silting up the rivers and oceans, but also carrying those toxins to the sea. Agriculture contributes to marine pollution!
Then one needs to look at factories, and not just solid or liquid waste but also the fumes. The gases produced in many places are filled with sulphur, which creates acid rain, deadly to much of the marine ecosystem. There are other toxin compounds as well, all of which wind their way into the sea.
The effects of marine pollution is a dying ecosystem, and eventually a dying of life on the planet. The oceans of the world not only provide water and much of our food, but also the air we breath. It absorbs out carbon dioxide and helps produce oxygen, giving fresh air and regulating temperatures. Global warming is due as much to damages oceans as greenhouse emissions!
Preventive measures? There are quite a few depending on the type of pollution involved. Education is one, teaching people about consequences will make most become more responsible and not dump things into the sea, that takes care of the physical garbage. Agricultural pollution is also education, using contours and such will decrease the run off and save topsoil. Saltwater diluted is a fertilizer and could be used in coastal areas instead of commercial ones, there are biodegradable pesticides! Factories can install filters and “gas scrubbers”, costly but not as expensive as some think and better in the long term!
Marine pollution is a problem, it effects everything. Its main causes are the activities of man, and those can be better done!