The ocean makes up 70% of earth’s surface. It holds 79% of the earth’s water. The ocean stores large quantities of carbon. It provides a home to a diverse plant and marine life.
Unfortunately, we have polluted our oceans. Between the plastic and fossil fuels we have polluted our oceans to unsafe levels causing harm to many species of marine plant and animal.
We must clean them up and do a better job of protecting them. Without the ocean all that carbon would be released leading to a catastrophic disaster for all life.
Problems facing our oceans
There are several problems facing our oceans today. They include:
- Pollution from fossil fuels and garbage like plastic bottles
- Over fishing in the fishing industry
- Acidification from the CO2 we put in the air the ocean PH balance is dropping to the point of certain aquatic animals or plants are having a hard time surviving.
- Dying coral reefs, the problem here are coral reefs are the habitat for many small species those species are feed for larger species.
- Dead zones in the ocean where there is no oxygen so there is no life there.
- Mercury poisoning the fish we eat.
Fossil fuels used by cargo ships, cruise lines, and fishing vessels not only give off emissions but pose the threat of leaking oil and fuel into the ocean.
The amount of disposable items from plastic is out of control. From drinking bottles, plastic straws and plastic grocery bags end up in our oceans. America alone uses a half a billion drinking straws.
Between the fossil fuels and the plastic the marine life is having a difficult time.
These problems are growing on a larger scale by the day. Until we get serious about saving our oceans they will continue to die.
How to protect oceans
How do we protect our oceans and the species they are home too? There are several things that can be done both by industries and individuals. These include:
- Reduce the amount of plastics we use every day. Use reusable shopping bags in place of plastic.
- Use reusable drinking bottles in place of one time use bottles.
- Educate others of the importance of reducing plastic uses.
- Recycle plastic responsibly. Often plastic drinking bottles and food containers can be upcycled into other uses.
- Using fewer plastics keep them out of landfills and our oceans.
- Get friends and family or community members to adopt a beach and clean it up once a week.
- Switch marine vehicles (ships) to biofuels that are cleaner and less likely to leak.
- Lower the number of coal plants that are operational to reduce mercury levels in the oceans that contaminate our fish supply we eat. Switching to one of the green energies can help lower the number of coal plants that operational.
We can all participate in the tips above to reduce ocean pollution.
Industries can reward employees for doing a beach cleanup once a week or once every two weeks. Industries can also reduce the amount of plastic they use when receiving goods they need and shipping goods they produce.
Individuals can help with recycling responsibly. This can also include cutting plastic bags and other items that you can cut so they will be less harmful to sea life. Reusable cloth shopping bags come in a variety of sizes and patterns or colors.
If you are a fisherman you should keep a garbage bag in the vehicle for your trash and any that washes up near you. Only keep what you can eat and release the rest, so the species has time to reproduce.
It is up to all of us to clean our oceans and reduce the risk to aquatic life.