Around the world, pollution has affected 693 species, from the deep sea to the birds onthe land. Pollution is defined as being when pollutants contaminate the surrounding area, throughwater, air, noise, soil, and heat. Our own human actions have affected our world greatly.Pollution has been the cause of 405 dead zones in the ocean worldwide, which is causing animalsto have to change their lives entirely (Rinkesh). If pollution is not effectively lessened, thenhumans will make the ocean uninhabitable.Furthermore, when industries do not properly treat the waste that leaves their factories,the chemicals that are still within it do not get removed, and end up flowing straight into ourrivers and seas. Lead, Mercury, sulphur, asbestos, and nitrates affect water greatly, changing thecolor and temperature of the water, and posing a serious threat to the organisms living there(Rinkesh). Unfortunately, toxic chemicals within the oceans is the most common form ofpollution, and one of the most difficult to fix. The effects of these chemicals can be disastrous,because the raising of temperatures causes animals to have to migrate, and can kill entire coralreefs with just one degree of a change. However, big industries are not the only ones dumpingchemicals into the oceans. The agricultural industry often uses pesticides in order to keep theircrops alive and healthy, and fertilizers to keep their soil fresh, says Rinkesh of Conserve EnergyFuture. The chemicals that run off these farmlands and into rivers, eventually into oceans, do notmix well with water—or animals living in these aquatic environments.Equally important is the fact that the average American in the United States uses 4.4pounds of trash each year, and overall America had 254 million tons of trash last year (Breyer).Most of this trash is not recycled, and what is not tossed in a landfill is often thrown into ouroceans. Plastics in the ocean cannot decompose like they can on land, meaning that once they arethere, they may be there for the next fifty years. The plastics that gather up within the oceanoften gather together in large masses, frequently called ‘garbage patches’ (Haugersveen). Manyanimals, such as sea birds, are attracted to these piles, mistaking the trash for food. Theseorganisms at sea are frequently found with plastic in their digestive systems, which is one of thehighest causes for their deaths. Having so much plastic in our oceans also raises carbon dioxidelevels, which can lead to disastrous effects. High levels of CO2 can cause acid rain, which isdeadly to animals and impacts ecosystems greatly (Haugersveen). Unfortunately, plastics are notthe only objects in the ocean that can damage fragile ecosystems.Sewage is one of the most deadliest ways that pollution affects Earth’s oceans. Manysewage treatment centers simply mix sewage with chemicals and release them into sea waters.The toxic chemicals within sewage have more of an impact than many people realize. Sewagereduces the quality of the water, and also reduces oxygen levels. By doing this, sea animals arefrequently killed because of their inability to gain as much oxygen as they need (Gertz). Excessnutrients from sewage also cause toxic algae blooms, which harm and can kill organisms in thesea. These algae blooms do not only hurt animals, but also have an impact on humansthemselves. Some species of algae can cause irritation, burning, and sometimes allergicreactions. This causes older organisms to take control, rising up and taking over other speciesbecause of the disruption in the food chain (Rinkesh). Pathogens within the sewage water alsohave a large impact on these organisms. These diseases are extremely harmful, and can evenspread back to humans themselves through digestion of fish and other sea food.The amount of pollutants we pour into our oceans must come to an end. Otherwise, theimportant ecosystems within our oceans will become deceased, killing all organisms withinthem. If we do not stop, our oceans will become completely inhabitable. One of the things wemust do is control more wastewater treatment. More laws must be enacted to stop so muchplastic, chemicals, and sewage from being freely released into the oceans. This change mustcome on a personal and societal level. People need to be aware of what is going on, andunderstand how to make it come to an end. Otherwise, we will fill our blue earth with toxic,plastic wastewater.Pollution is one of the biggest examples of how humans are impacting the world oceans.If this is not ended, our oceans will become toxic, and will not be able to sustain any life.Without the organisms in the ocean, all food chains on earth will be affected, and all of it willlead back to humans. We must take action, and recognize the problem before it is too late to tryand change it all. Researching pollution has opened my eyes to how badly we all treat our planet,and how with time, these changes will grow to be even more irreversible. People must cometogether to help our Earth, our oceans, our animals, and most of us, ourselves.
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