“Think blue!”, “Save the turtles!”, “Ride the tide, take a green side!” All of these slogans may seem random and without any connection, but they all hold one message — stop polluting the oceans. Around 70% of the Earth is covered by water, and 97% of it is found underwater. It goes to show that polluting even one small part of the ocean can have grave consequences for the whole world.
That’s why this topic is emphasized everywhere, especially in schools where students need to write a research paper or a good ocean pollution argumentative essay. In the following article, we’ll see what the problem with ocean pollution is, the types of contamination of the water body, and more.
Exploring the Most Dangerous Types of Ocean Pollution & Effects
It is one of the most important and serious problems today. As we mentioned, students learn about it in high school and college so that young people become more knowledgeable on the topic. The best learning way is writing a research paper, so everyone can research, discover interesting facts and present the results. But what if a student doesn’t know how to organize his thoughts properly, so it is a finished piece? Luckily, there are plenty of free essay examples about ocean pollution on Study Driver, which helps students create an outline and write a worthwhile research paper based on a sample on this subject.But it’s not only students that need to learn more about it. So, to shine more light on this matter, in the following text, we’ll go through the types of ocean contamination and their effects.
The first thing we think of when environmental pollution is mentioned is plastic. Yearly, there are around 10 million tons of plastic dumped in the ocean. And since plastic takes centuries to degrade, it gradually disrupts marine life and causes health risks to people and animals.
Plastic and garbage also contribute to climate change. Since plastic is created from fossil fuels, it adds more to the climate crisis. Even more, when it is burnt, it releases carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere.
Finally, another effect of dumping garbage in the oceans is the need for cleanups, which causes high economic costs. One study even pointed out that the costs may go as high as $19 billion.
There are more and more cases of chemical pollutants being spilled into the water from factories or other companies that deal with such matters. Some types of chemicals include the following:
- Sewage and industrial waste
- Nuclear waste
- Home cleaning products
- Plutonium waste
All the chemicals sink to the bottom of the aquatic systems, where fish and other aquatic animals eat them. They may later be caught and consumed by people, hence contaminating their health.
Ocean contamination is not always palpable. The noise from oil rigs, ships, sonar devices, etc. Also disturbs marine life in its hunting, reproduction, feeding, and more. The consequences of ocean pollution of such a type also influence other species outside the waters, as they mainly feed off of fish or other aquatic animals.
Oil has long posed a huge problem. Its spills put the lives of not only marine animals in danger but humans too. Namely, the substance sticks to the body of fish, crabs, sharks, etc., which humans later consume.
But birds are also known to feed on fish, thus indirectly endangering those animals too. Moreover, oil washes up on beaches and contaminates the soil.
Although not that much talked about, that problem has dire consequences too. Namely, as several types of waste end up in the water, it creates nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus, leading to a lack of oxygen. As a result, so-called dead zones appear in the oceans.
There are around 400 dead zones, which lead to various diseases and coral bleaching.
As mentioned at the beginning, around 97% of the Earth’s water is part of the oceans. Having that in mind, we conclude that at least half (if not more) of it is contaminated. Some believe that 80% of the earth’s sea surface is polluted by plastic only. In all cases, studies have shown that ocean pollution threatens human life.
According to the UN, there are around 800 species of marine life affected by ocean pollution. If you read any research paper on the topic, you’d immediately notice that the first target of any type of garbage is marine life. The effects of ocean pollution on marine life range from direct impacts on their health to disruption of their mating, feeding, etc.
If marine life is at risk, then most definitely human health is too. Ocean pollution’s effects on humans are huge and grave. By consuming fish, for example, there is a chance of inhaling toxic waste or other material that has previously influenced ocean creatures.
But aside from that circle of life, wellness is also attacked externally by climate change. And one of the reasons for the growing climate crisis is the contamination of oceans, as we’ve stated before.
Since plastic and other waste create carbon dioxide, it increases the global temperature, hence creating different diseases or having other impacts on human health. Sadly, despite all efforts to decrease CO2 emissions, many countries are still not taking the matter seriously.
The current state of the world is in dire need of help. The long-term effects of ocean pollution are just starting and will be felt even more as time passes. However, there are some things humans need to do to prevent it. Some of these include the following:
- The Rule of 3 R’s – Reduce, recycle, reuse. It’s a simple rule that essentially asks to use one thing as much as possible, hence reducing waste.
- No littering – Today, there’s a trash can on every corner. Don’t throw your garbage on the ground—there are designated places for it.
- Eco-friendly packaging – If possible, use eco-friendly packaging to reduce plastic waste.
- Reduce chemical use – Instead of using chemicals for your garden or home, see if you can exchange them with more natural products like composting fertilizers or homemade cleaners.
- Recycle – The most commonly mentioned and important way to reduce pollution of any kind is recycling. Separate your trash so it won’t all get mixed and end up destroying the Earth.
Ocean pollution is not a hoax, and it’s not something that would go away within a blink of an eye. Everyone everywhere needs to start putting more thought into this matter and learn about the consequences it has on humans and all other living species. In any case, it is certain — we need to raise awareness and work harder to preserve the beauty of the planet, its ecosystems, and our own well-being.