Ocean Pollution and its Effects

Ocean Pollution and its Effects

Eugene Leung, Journalist

Many famous beaches have been known for their beauty and other features but all beaches have one thing in common: ocean pollution. Animals and other organisms living in the ocean are being affected by industry spills, landfill sites, leftover litter at beaches, or pieces of garbage and plastic washed by rain and rivers. Humans have been very irresponsible to answer this problem and it has been happening for too long. 

Recently in an eastern area of  Kamchatka, a peninsula in Russia, dead octopus, sea stars, and other fish have been found swept onto the beach. Pictures of this unfortunate event are all over social media. Furthermore, Yekaterina Dyba, who runs a surfing school said on Facebook, “For several weeks now, all surfers have experienced problems with their eyes after returning from the water. White shroud, blurred vision, dryness. Sore throat. Many had nausea, weakness, high fever.” Kamchatka’s Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology Aleksei Kumarkov revealed samples of the toxic water. The waters were at a level of four times more toxic than what it should have been. This opened up an investigation but the source of this chemical is still unknown. Some thoughts about this casein Russian media is contamination from a military facility. However, Russia’s Defense Ministry denies that. The toxic chemicals and plastic in the ocean is killing far too many animals and is harmful to humans. Ocean pollution is bad for the environment. 

Each day, roughly 8 million pieces of plastic get swept into the ocean! It is insane because at this point Earth’s water will soon be poisonous. Currently, there are about 5.25 trillion microplastic pieces floating around the ocean which weigh up to 269,000 tons (593,043,485pounds). In the United Kingdom, plastic water bottles are found everywhere. A study showed that plastic pollution is found in marine turtles 100% of the time, found in whales 59% of the time, found in seals 36% of the time, and in seabirds 40% of the time. That is an unfortunate amount of plastic which each year kills a million seabirds and 100,000 marine animals.  

Solutions to ocean pollution aren’t that easy. There is just too much plastic in the ocean to pick up. Plus, only 1% of plastic in the ocean float. All the other pieces of the plastic sink and some are microscopic. Most of the pieces are microscopic because plastic takes around 450 years to decompose. Ocean pollution is just harmful. Luckily, the easiest way to prevent this is to pick up your trash and be responsible. 

Preventing Ocean Pollution - Greenpeace USA