When I think of the ocean, I picture the gorgeous Caribbean Sea that surrounds my lovely island. The water is inviting and crystal clear. It is truly a blessing to be surrounded by such clear water, that is filled with an abundance of marine life, and coral reefs.
However, unfortunately some people may not be so lucky, and don’t think of such a picturesque image, instead startling images of the ocean being polluted comes to mind. For instance, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Here is a snapshot of the state the Pacific Ocean is in, “The Pacific Ocean is home to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which also is known as the “World’s Largest Landfill,” according to the European Commission. An estimated 3.5 million tons of trash reside in this landfill that are the result of whirling currents in the Pacific Ocean that pull trash and pollution into the ocean.” (http://greenliving.nationalgeographic.com/statistics-pollution-pacific-ocean-20311.html)
It is simply heart wrenching to see the ocean in such a state of distress as trash is continually being dumped in, polluting the sea. Images of trash in the ocean makes me cringe, as does images of animals suffering from the damaging effects of pollution. It is a very unsettling feeling knowing that animals such as birds, fish and mammals are exposed to such pollution. These animals are at risk of digesting, and being entangled in the debris found floating around the ocean. Here is a scary fact, “Fish ingest an estimated 12,000 to 24,000 tons of plastic per year in the Pacific Ocean, according to research from the University of California San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography.” (http://greenliving.nationalgeographic.com/statistics-pollution-pacific-ocean-20311.html ) Therefore, it is imperative that people come together to protect the ocean and marine life.
Some additional facts on pollution in the ocean:
“Over 100,000 marine mammals and one million seabirds die each year from ingesting or becoming entangled in plastic.” (http://www.takepart.com/oceans/plastic-pollution)
“Plastic constitutes approximately 90% of all trash floating on the ocean’s surface, with 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile.” (http://www.takepart.com/oceans/plastic-pollution)
There is a serious urgency to not only remove all the waste that has been dumped into the ocean, (or retrieve as much as we possibly can) but to prevent more trash from polluting the ocean.
How can we help protect the ocean?
- Don’t pollute the ocean, or environment for that matter
- Recycle more
- Reduce our consumption of plastic products, buy more biodegradable products
- Get involved with or start, beach clean ups in your community
- Raise awareness about protecting the ocean
Check out this video clip, it is very informative, and worth a few moments of your time.
p.s- Photo from google.