Ocean Pollution

Jennifer Love, Writer

A beached whale washed up on the shore of the Philippines, Sat., Mar. 16. Scientists found the whale had 88 pounds of plastic in its stomach. With this whale being brought to the world’s attention, it also brings the issue of ocean pollution to light.

The world is covered by 97% water, along that amount, there are 25 trillion pieces of trash covering it. Only 269,000 tons of trash float on surface level while another four billion pieces sink deep in the ocean. There are many things that contribute to the build up of trash in the ocean. Littering, ocean mining, sewage, and oil spills are all major causes of ocean pollution. These issues bring chain reactions to the world and cause a decrease in the ocean’s oxygen, making the health of marine animals suffer, develops food chain contamination, and it even effects human health. When the ocean covers the majority of earth, these problems of pollution could potentially affect land and the people on it.

Littering is a continuously growing problem both on land and now in the ocean, caused by the disposal of trash, eventually leading to pollution. Pollution is known as one of the biggest global killers, with it, affecting 100 million people, this damage is comparable to the effects of Malaria or HIV. Due to excessive littering done on land, areas called “dead zones” have been created. Dead zones are areas in the ocean where the conditions are so dangerous that marine life cannot survive there. The Gulf of Mexico on the southern coast of the United States is continuously filled during the year by run-off materials through the Mississippi River these actions cause a dead zone the size of New Jersey every summer. Around the world there are over 500 dead zones that all add up to be the about the size of the United Kingdom.

The issues of the ocean may not seem important to people who do not understand pollution’s full effects, but eventually it will spread to the land and will begin affecting them.