#DidYouKnow? About 75% of the earth’s surface is covered by oceans.
On top of that, more than ⅓ of the world’s population relies on marine biodiversity for their income.
Unfortunately, this ecosystem is also being threatened by human activities, and the time for change has come before we do irreversible damage to this beautiful planet we call home.
The effects of marine pollution are being felt all over the world.
What exactly is marine pollution?
Marine pollution is the introduction of toxic chemicals and harmful materials into the ocean.
These pollutants end up in the oceans as a result of different human activities and surprisingly, most of them come from land sources, the first one being beach pollution!
What are the different types of marine pollution?
1. Plastic Pollution
The problem with plastics is that, unlike other materials, they won’t ever break down. Instead, they will remain in the environment for hundreds of years, which means plastics will indefinitely pollute our beaches and continue to harm marine life.
Think about this scary fact… every single piece of plastic you’ve ever touched in your life still exists somewhere in this world today.
2. Noise Pollution
Many marine species depend on their sense of hearing to find food, mate, and navigate. Unnatural noises from shipping and other human activities can disturb these species.
3. Light Pollution
Light can create a different world for many marine species. This type of ocean pollution can affect the way some species communicate, find prey, migrate, and escape predators.
4. Chemical Pollution
Some man-made pollutants that end up in the oceans and harm this ecosystem include pesticides, herbicides, detergents, petroleum, ingredients in personal care products, pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, and industrial discharge.
5. Ocean Acidification
Some human activities release too much CO2 into the atmosphere and our oceans are absorbing part of those emissions. This makes the oceans more acidic, which changes the whole ecosystem and affects marine life.
#WhatTheFlipFlop? Surprising facts that will make you say, ‘what the flip…’
- Every year, around 8 million metric tons of plastic waste end up in our oceans.
That’s the equivalent of one truckload of plastic entering the ocean every single minute.
- 80% of the items found in the ocean come from land-based sources.
- 75 to 199 million tons of plastic are currently found in our oceans! Dreadful!
- The 5 most common items found in ocean pollution beach clean-ups are: single-use products.
Cigarette butts, plastic beverage bottles, food wrappers, bottle caps, and grocery bags.
- Plastic pollution in the oceans kills over 100,000 marine mammals, like dolphins and sea lions, and more than one million seabirds every year.
- There are over 500 locations recorded as dead zones around the world, these are areas of low oxygen concentration where marine life suffocates and dies.
- There is an “island of garbage” three times the size of France inside the Pacific Ocean.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch includes an estimated 1.8 trillion pieces of rubbish. These plastics can be found from the surface of the ocean all the way to the ocean floor.
- Pollutants and microplastics can also affect our health.
It’s time for us to take a stand & help support this planet before it’s too late.
At Ocean Sole, we host weekly beach cleans to help protect and preserve our oceans in coastal areas. Become a virtual volunteer & donate towards keeping our coastlines clean!
You can also help by spreading the word about ocean pollution causes, reduce our carbon footprint, and demand responsible actions from industries.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for custom projects, creative ideas, or just to see how to stay connected & get involved with our mission!
Written by: Maureen Simba