Pollution can come in many forms, but is nay substance that is introduced into a natural environment that is harmful or poisonous. It can be chemical substances or energy such as noise, heat or light. One of the most polluted environments on the earth is the ocean. Every year thousands of marine creatures die because of pollution and even more are damaged or made sick due to it. So what causes the oceans to be polluted?
Causes of Ocean Pollution
The main cause of any type of pollution is humans. Our activities and carelessness is what produces the pollution that litters our oceans. Some of the major causes of ocean pollution are things such as oil spills, dumping toxic industrial waste, incorrect disposal of garbage, waste water and sewage, run off from agricultural endeavors and ocean mining. Each of these activities causes the oceans to become polluted.
Oil spills occur when crude oil is transported across the ocean to refineries or directly for ocean oil stations. In some cases the oil spill is accidental, but sometimes the ship or station needs to dump some of the waste oil. Statistics show that 45 percent of ocean water pollution is caused by marine transportation, while 32 percent is caused by loading, discharging, and flushing of oil tankers.
The dumping of toxic industrial waste into the ocean is common practice in many countries around the world. Many major industrial companies have outlets that run directly into the ocean. There has even been nuclear waste dumped into the oceans as a way of getting rid of it.
Waste water, sewage and water runoff are also major cause of ocean pollution. Many countries treat and then dump their sewage into the ocean rationalizing that the treatment of the sewage makes it a safe thing to do. Power plants often direct their waste water into the ocean. This water is often full of heavy metals. Runoff from farms can also cause problems in the ocean. Mush of the runoff includes pesticides and herbicides that can cause the death of some marine species and the overgrowth of other aquatic plant species such as blue green algae.
The incorrect disposal of garbage is defiantly a major contributor to ocean pollution. Much of the garbage that is found in the streets will eventually end up in the ocean especially in coastal towns. There are large garbage patches in all of the gyres of the oceans of the world. It is estimated that there is a staggering 315 billion pounds of plastic in the oceans right now.
Videos showing ocean pollution: