The Ocean's Pollution Problem Essay

2943 words - 12 pages

The Ocean’s Pollution Problem
There is a “dead zone” the size of New Jersey in the Gulf of Mexico in which aquatic life cannot survive (Walls – Thumma). There is a garbage patch the size of Texas in the Pacific Ocean. Dead zones and garbage patches are just some examples of the horrific effects that water pollution has on life of all sorts. Every day, millions of sea critters, as well as humans, are victim to a harder life at the hand of pollution. With all the great that plastic does for humans, it has also proven itself catastrophic for all living organisms on Earth. The problem is that no single organization or country wants to lead the journey to stop the excessive amounts of pollution. All though no single country is to blame, the world needs a demanding global effort to stop the elements causing water pollution because of the extremely negative effects on animals and humans.
Many people have heard of garbage islands, and continue to form a misguided image in their heads. The concept of a garbage island is largely misguided. Garbage patches are in fact largely constructed of microscopic bits of plastics. Many people envision a large landfill in the middle of the ocean. This is true in a sense that the area has a large density of plastics, but many pieces are invisible or barely visible to the human eye. When the plastics we use end up in the ocean the sun keeps breaking them down into smaller and smaller pieces. They do not go away, however, but instead they are the size of small fish and other creatures and are commonly mistaken for food.
Garbage patches get created due to the poor disposal of trash and the natural currents of the ocean. According to National Geographic, The Great Pacific Garbage Patch formed between Hawaii and California, because of the large gyre in the area. The gyre prevents the garbage from spreading out. The garbage stays in the center of the gyre instead. In doing so, The Great Pacific Garbage Patch refers to the containment of garbage in the center of the gyre. The large accumulation of garbage in the patch is largely due to the fact that most of the trash accumulated is not biodegradable (“Great Pacific Garbage Patch”). The main reason plastic is such a deadly polluter is it is not biodegradable. All the plastic that has ever been produced is still on Earth somewhere.
Garbage Patches are a major political concern because they are not directly associated with any one country. The oceans are international waters and with that, no specific country feels the need to take responsibility (“Great Pacific Garbage Patch”). This might actually be the biggest pollution issue that needs to be addressed. Countries are turning a blind eye to an issue that is harming everything from microplanktion to humans. According to National Geographic there is really no easy clean up because of the size of the plastic particles in the ocean (“Great Pacific Garbage Patch”)....

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