Ocean pollution is one of the biggest problems facing our planet asan entire ecosystem. Every year there is over sixty million gallons ofcrude oil that makes its way into the ocean, however you usually only hearabout it when there is a massive catastrophic oil spill. Each and everyriver, stream, and tributary finds its way to the ocean and so does thepollution that is made from waste of our everyday lives.(http://www.
cdli.ca/CITE/oceanpollution.htm#Gander)Man is not the only cause of pollution in the ocean but it is a largefactor in the overall problem.
The smaller half of the problem derivesfrom crude oil unfortunately finding its way into the seas by hugeunderground oil vats that seep through the depths of the ocean floor. Thisnatural process as bad as it is, in no way compares to the travesty dealtto the environment as man does.Oil is not the only problem the oceanfaces, many other contaminants and infectious wastes also make their wayinto our vast oceans and seas. From the beginning of time man has treatedthe ocean as a dump for his garbage and in this modern day and age itbegins to show.Raw sewage is continuously pumped into the ocean from all over theworld due to either cost effectiveness, lack of knowledge, of just blatantapathy. This seriously depletes the oxygen stores held in the water andpoisons the fish and animals in the ocean. There are even a few closedbeaches and shellfish beds across the world due to inhumane amounts of rawsewage spewing into our waterways.
Many companies find it cheaper to dispose of their industrial wastesinto rivers streams and lakes and try to conceal it from the rest ofpopulation. Mining is also another problem that faces water and oceanpollution especially strip mining. By blasting constantly into mountainssearching for minerals and ores many companies are further more pollutingthe water through clouds of dust entering many rivers, streams, lakes andaquifers. This type of mining also makes tap water undrinkable to manyresidents near these types of mines.Ocean pollution affects individuals such as me because I am an avidsurfer and a fan of the environment. I go to the beach about every day andhate to see trash or debris in the water. By cleaning our oceans we canswim in cleaner waters, eat fish/shell fish that are no longer contaminateddue to constant dumping of toxins, and prevent further extinction ofspecies of animals that we still have much to learn about.
This issue affects us as a society because we only have this earth oflimited resources until the end of man or the sun expands in the red giantstage and consumes our microscopic planet. When our ocean becomes acesspool of human filth and stagnant decay and there is nothing left of ourecosystem but an empty cobweb of a once thriving interconnected humanitywill look back at its past stupidity and it will be a sorrowful day forall. Until that day comes the minority of environmentalist are our onlyhope to try to show the rest of the world that ignorance will only lead todisaster.This is an issue in our society because of numerous organizationsacross the globe to protect the oceans and other bodies of water. Manypeople live their lives around the ocean whether it is socially,economically, or recreationally.
On a smaller scale, the state we live in,New Jersey is practically surrounded by water. Anything that happens tothe Atlantic Ocean directly affects us in many ways such as getting sickfrom swimming, eating poisoned fish, lowering property value on beachfronthomes, disabling recreational boating, diving, fishing, wakeboarding etc.Things that have been done to protect our oceans in America includethe Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 which prettymuch enabled environmentalists a seat of power in controlling what can bedumped into the ocean and what couldn’t be.
The issuing of regulations ofocean dumping in 1977 by the EPA was another major step in helping controlocean dumping. In 1983 the MPRSA added an amendment which requiredcongressional approval for the disposal of low level radiation into theocean. Then in 1988 ocean dumping was prohibited and all industrial siteswere closed down. In 1992 government agencies banned the dumping of sewagesludge into the oceans and all waterways.
In 1999 the navy agreed to getrid of all hazardous materials on disposed vessels which further helped theprevention of toxic substances amongst our waters.We now cannot look back and wonder why we allowed such atrocities totake place, however we must try to fight against the further defilement ofour waters by joining organizations that lobby in cause of clean waters.Just the other day I had a woman from an organization dedicated to cleaningour drinking water, the freshwater ways as well as our ocean come by myhouse. I wrote two letters out to both our senators in hopes to have themratify a bill that many environmentalists were fighting to get through.You don’t have to do a lot to join in on the fight against pollution just afew small things such as recycling properly, maybe taking part in a cleansweep, or simply picking up trash you see at the beach.
In conclusion I must add that ocean pollution may not be at the topof our agenda today or tomorrow but it’s something you have to look at inthe long run as a disabilitating issue that will affect the planet as awhole down the road.