Editorial: Ocean Pollution is the Problem

Emma Galvez, Reporter

Ocean pollution is one of the biggest factors in global warming. It’s harming not only the earth but the things living on it. Ocean pollution has been a problem for almost 75 years and there are many factors to ocean pollution other than plastic. 

We need to start recycling and using eco-friendly products. 

Plastic and Chemicals in the Ocean 

Plastic and chemicals end up in the ocean from everyday use. The garbage can come from storms, like hurricanes. Ocean pollution doesn’t just come from garbage and natural disasters but it also comes from burning fossil fuels. Fossil fuels change the pH levels (a measure of how acidic or basic water is), and leads to acidification. 

Most of the plastic that ends up in the ocean is single used items, such as: water bottles, trash bags, grocery bags, drinking straws, and so much more. None of those items are biodegradable, so they aren’t able to dissolve in the ocean There is a total of 8 million metric tons of plastic that ends up in the ocean after a year, said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Burning Fossil Fuels 

A quarter of all fossil fuels are absorbed by the ocean, which leads to the change in pH levels. If greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase, the surface waters of the ocean could be nearly 150 percent more acidic by the end of the century, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council

“The global ocean absorbed 34 billion metric tons of carbon from the burning of fossil fuels from 1994 to 2007 — a four-fold increase to 2.6 billion metric tons per year when compared to the period starting from the Industrial Revolution in 1800 to 1994, said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Oil Spills

Oil spills are one of the biggest problems. The oil spills harm marine life and their habitats, and make the seafood we eat harmful. Oil spills are very common, for example, refueling a ship, that oil is leaked into the ocean and harms marine life. While those are one of the smallest but harmful spills, the larger ones are extremely more damaging like; pipelines break, drilling operations go wrong and big oil tanker ships sink. 

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “toxic compounds can cause severe health problems like heart damage, stunted growth, immune system effects, and even death. Our understanding of oil toxicity has expanded by studying the effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.”

Affect on Humans 

According to Massinitiative,10% of garbage ends up in the ocean. Every day, 8 million pieces of trash end up in the ocean affecting all animals that depend on it to survive including humans. The World Economic Forum said, “humans can ingest toxic and dangerous chemicals by eating seafood which was exposed to this pollution. Ocean pollutants also damage the environment and spread harmful microorganisms.” 

Supporting an Organization 

4ocean is an organization that has a mission to clean up the ocean. They make jewelry that is made out of 100% recycled 4ocean plastic cord, and 100% recycled stainless steel charms. All of the money made goes to help clean up the ocean and other water sources around the world.