By: Maria, Connor, and Jozalyn
Most people don’t know how much pollution is in the ocean. Did you know that there are 315 billion pounds of plastic in the oceans?! I don’t know about you, but I think that that is A LOT of plastic!
How Pollution Happens
There are many different sources of ocean pollution, ranging from oil spills to rubber duck spills. There is a type of pollution called Ocean Acidification, where the carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air merges with the water to make the water more acidic. Eighty percent of ocean pollution comes from activities on land from nonpoint sources. There are a ton of small sources that count as nonpoint sources, such as boats, and cars. But also there are also big sources like farms and animal ranches. Millions of cars drop a tiny bit of oil each day on the roads, which eventually ends up in the sea. Dirt can also be a pollutant, too when topsoil runs off of construction sites is can end up in the water and hurt the wildlife and fisheries. There is a thing called Point Source pollution which is pollution that comes from one source. Oil and Chemical spills are some point source pollutions. Oil spills into the ocean are often accidents involving barges, tankers, refineries, and drilling rigs. There are other ways oils spill can happen that aren't accidents, like natural disasters such as hurricanes, and spills on purpose as acts of war. One silly yet depressing fact is that 28,800 rubber ducks were spilled into the seas while being transported overseas, and are now floating around in the ocean like it's a big bathtub. As you can see, there are many ways pollution can happen but all are all preventable.
If the amount of pollution in the oceans continues to grow, then all of the animals in the ocean could die! (Bum bum baaaaaaa) The plastic breaks down into tiny microscopic pieces that fish and other water creatures eat a ton of. Then, if we eat those water animals, and we will have plastic in us! We have talked about Acidification in “How It Happens”, but what does it do? The more Acidification there is in the ocean it is, the harder it is for shellfish, reefs, and fish to survive. The shellfish won't be able to form their shells because the shellfish are not able to get rid of the calcium ions. Acidification also affects fish because the water has a lower pH. This makes it so the fishes cells take in the carbonic acid to become in balance with the saltwater which changes the pH of the fish's blood. This can cause comas, seizures, and even death. Oil spills are really bad for the ocean animals because it makes it so that the birds and the sea animals with fir will get hypothermia and most likely die. But what if your a fish? You don’t have fur that keeps you warm. What happens is that the little fish take the oil in and then the bigger fish eat the little fish and so on till we eat those fish with the oil. If you consume oil you could lose sight, pain in your throat, nose, eyes, ears, lips and tongue and other things like that. There are approximately 706 million gallons of oil in the ocean. When, or if, the oil may reach the shore, it will interact with some of the sediments such as the beach sand and other objects like that. This will cause erosion.
How You Can Help
How can we help reduce water pollution? We can use reusable metal water bottles instead of using the disposable plastic bottles. We can compost your food waste. We can reduce the use of oil one way by driving electric cars more. We can also recycle cans and plastic containers and not put them in the trash. We can rethink our choices of buying food from foreign places or plastic bags because the plastic can get into the oceans and also it takes a lot of oil to get the foreign food here. We could plant trees on land so that the trees could take in some of the carbon dioxide and the ocean won't have as much CO2 that causes Acidification. Instead of using ziplock bags for lunches we can use glass Tupperware, and also so that if you are on the beach you won’t have to worry about the plastic bags flying into the ocean and strangling sea creatures. We can refuse boats that use oil. Those consequences are true so that why we need to help! Some people think that global warming does not affect them, but they are wrong. Global warming affects everyone and just doing one little thing can make a big difference in our world.