Ocean Pollution Essay

1441 words - 6 pages

Everything in this world we use comes from the ocean in some way. The air we breathe, the water we drink, even the products we use day to day, would not be possible without the ocean. That's why the issue of ocean pollution is so important and needs to be addressed as soon as possible. We depend on the ocean for so much in our life, without it we would surely become extinct. People seem to think that since the ocean is so large and vast, we can dump as much waste as we'd like into it and it will never have an effect on us. However, since we've been polluting the ocean as far back as Roman times, the evidence of ocean pollution becoming a major problem is all too clear.
There are many different ways the ocean can become polluted. One major way would be man-made pollutants such as pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, detergents, oil, sewage, plastics, and other solids, finding their way into the ocean and collecting at the ocean's depths. In fact, this makes up 80% of the ocean's pollution. At the depths, they are consumed by small organisms that introduce the pollutants to the global food chain. Many of the pollutants are released into local streams, rivers, and groundwater and are eventually deposited into estuaries, bays, and deltas. This can cause massive amount of algae to grow, taking oxygen from the water and places marine life can exist. In the past 2 years, these dead zones have increased by 1/3. Scientists have discovered around 400 dead zones in world.
Other solid waste such as bags, foam, and other items from ships are often eaten by marine animals, fish, and birds that mistake it for food, usually ending in devastating effects. This is becoming such a problem that in some areas, currents collect such pollutants and eventually form into giant swirling garbage whirls. In fact, one in the North Pacific is twice the size of Texas! Fishnets improperly discarded into the ocean can also cause major issues, tangling into unsuspecting mammals and fish. According to the Marin Academy's Oceanography website, there are over 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in each square mile of ocean off the Northeast coast of the United States, which contributes to the death of 100,000 marine mammals and two millions sea birds yearly.
A way you wouldn't expect pollution to be caused is by noise. The pressure from the sounds omitted by ships, sonar devices, oil rigs, and earthquakes can disrupt communication, hunting, migration, and reproduction patterns from many marine animals like whales and dolphins. This can throw the whole system off balance. Air pollution can also cause ocean pollution by being absorbed into the water and contaminating it, and vice versa. Ocean pollution can eventually cause air pollution. Dirt can also spill into waterways from top soil or silt from fields or construction sites, causing endangerment to fish and wildlife habitats.
Out of all of these ways, oil spills can cause a noticeably excessive amount of damage...

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