Water pollution is a problem that effects all living things. Every living organism on the earth needs water to survive. When the water is polluted, it not only effects the plants and animals, it harms people. Taking care of this planet’s water is very important to the short term and long term survival of living things. The oceans are constantly being polluted by individuals and many industries. These waters must be cleaned up before the costs are too great and the damages beyond repair. Action to clean up the Earth’s water supply is long over due. People in all countries must begin to take action. Plans must be made to rid the waters of pollution, and prevent any further destruction of the only source of water that the earth has. The actions taken will not only make the planet safer and cleaner for now, but for generations to come.
For years, the world has thought the oceans are much too big to be effected by human action. The idea that the ocean is indestructible has met its end. Peter Weber a Research Associate at the Worldwatch Institute says, “Today, with technologies that allow us to penetrate the salt water depths, we have discovered that despite their size and imperturbable appearance, the oceans are vulnerable to the same unsustainable trends that are degrading the terrestrial environment.”. The oceans are one of the most important natural resources on the planet. Many plants, fish, and mammals have made the ocean their home. Much of the world’s human population depends a great deal on the ocean for their own food or to make a living. Because of the importance for the ocean, it must be taken care of to insure a future for a clean planet. Right now, the oceans are facing destruction. Each day new pollutants find their way into the ocean’s waters. The pollutants that contaminate the ocean take many forms. Each year millions of gallons of oil are put into the ocean. Toxic materials are dumped into the oceans and add up to deadly proportions. Tons of trash such as plastics and paper are pulled out of the ocean each day. This trash contaminates the water and causes many deaths of marine animals.
Everyone on the planet has polluted the oceans one way or another. Factories that are in various industries make an enormous contribution to ocean pollution. These factories use unbelievable amounts of water to make their products. The Natural Resource Defense Council says, “More than four out of every ten gallons of water used in the US are used for industrial purposes.” A large amount of this water is dumped back into the oceans. This water is usually not clean, and may contain thousands of different chemicals. When this happens it can kill marine life, contaminate food supplies, and endanger people who use waters for fishing, swimming, or drinking. Water is also dumped back into the oceans by power plants who use it to cool reactors. This water is placed back into the oceans at high temperatures. Dumping water at these high temperatures causes a disruption in the marine environment. According to the book by Peter Weber, “The water from power plants kills coral and other temperature related species.” Many harmful airborne particles also pollute oceans. Exhaust from cars and factories, and chemicals like pesticides are carried into the atmosphere through vaporization. When it rains, many of these chemicals fall into the ocean. H.L. Windom says, “Up to 25% of the annual DDT production was rained out into the worlds oceans.” One of the most harmful pollutants is oil. Gallons and gallons of oil are dumped, leaked, or seeped into the ocean each year.
Contaminating the oceans will damage every living thing in one way or another. Deadly chemicals and radioactive materials get into the oceans and cause serious damages. One of the most deadly of all the toxins that enter the ocean is oil. According to the Worldwatch institute, “Low-level oil contamination can kill larvae and cause disease in marine life.” The oil can coat marine animals and cause death. Many animals also ingest the oil. Marine life is effected by all of the pollutants, not just oil. For instance plastics are also a big killer of marine life. Researcher, Peter Weber, claims that, “Plastics entangle marine life or is mistaken as food.” According to Dwight Holing, “Areas with chemical contamination, fish and shellfish have developed genetic defects such as chemical burns and tumors, and bottom-dwellers are showing fin erosion and cancer.” Farming and mining all contribute to the dumping of sediment into the ocean. Peter Weber states, “Sediments that make their way into the ocean can cloud the water and prevent photosynthesis, clog the gills of fish, and carry toxins that poison fish and other marine life.” People also suffer from pollution. Beaches are frequently closed due to high levels of bacteria contamination from sewage and from medical wastes that wash up to shore. Sewage and waste from livestock can contaminate seafood and cause many diseases such as cholera and typhoid. Although scientists do not know the effects of radioactive material on marine life, the potential effects are frightening.
Many years ago people would never have thought that the ocean would ever need saving. People would wonder how something so big could ever be effected by their own actions. There are many ways to begin to clean up the oceans. From individual action to government action. Some suggestions are to use biodegradable detergents and shampoos, avoid using and disposing plastics and styrofoam, do not pour hazardous chemicals down the drain, and to recycle old motor oil. Also people need to push the government for action. According to Oceans Day, “Having beach seeps, eco-regattas, youth projects, exhibits, concerts, research, and conferences will help to get the word out.” Not any one plan will save the oceans. The problem must be attacked at all levels. The government must take action, the companies must take action, and individuals must take action.
Cleaning the oceans would mean a healthier planet. Having healthier seafood will make healthier people. Clean oceans give people a good place for recreation. The fact of cleaning and monitoring the oceans will provide many new jobs. The main reason people do not clean the oceans is because of the cost. The oceans do not appear to be in immediate threat, but if the world waits to long to take action, the cost to clean up the ocean could be a lot more. So even though it may sound expensive, it will be a lot cheaper in the long run. It is the responsibility of every person on the planet to take care of the earth and its resources for ourselves and the future generations to come.