Strange Pollution In Our Waters: From Dead Zones To Trash Heaps

ocean-pollutionThere are hundreds of web pages out there talking about pollution of our lands, waters and other natural resources. Pollution has always been a problem. Our race creates new products, new foods, and new technology at an unfathomable rate. With all of this creativity comes waste, and that waste as often as not ends up as pollution.

It may be hard to believe but over 80% of marine pollution is caused by land based activities that lead to the pollution. Like toxic spills and untreated sewage. Let me show you two of the craziest found in our coastal waters.

The Dead Zones

Historically, all human civilizations have used water, whether rivers, lakes, streams or oceans as a place to discard unwanted items, waste products, and decaying food etc. It was a convenient, nearly unlimited space to rid ourselves of our junk.

Little did we know the repercussions of such short-sighted actions. Today, there are certain places in the oceans we have termed Dead Zones.

There is one Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico. The trash and toxic chemicals released by decay causes the waters to become hypoxic. That is a term for low in oxygen, and obviously having oxygen depleted water results in a lot of dying marine life. This is why it is called a Dead Zone.

Another monstrous Dead Zone can be found in the North Atlantic. Made up of man-made debris, it is very dangerous and yet doesn’t compare to the crazy size of the Pacific Garbage Patch.

The Pacific Garbage Patch was created by ocean currents essentially collecting debris. This sludge is mostly microscopic pieces of plastic mixed with chemical waste. It covers an astounding 700 thousand square kilometers which is an area greater than the size of France! Imagine that!

Sadly, other oceans have even greater dead zones and garbage patches.

The Refuse Piles

Some garbage is just simply junk we have no need for, and thus it was tossed out. This can be something small like a beer can like the one found on the bottom of the ocean, to a pile of beds or gurneys that was found just off the coast of an African country.

While searching for artificial reefs created by sunken ships, one exploratory vessel came across a collection of a couple dozen beds spread over a small area. Conjecture leads us to believe a cargo ship of some kind either hit a storm or was taking on water and the cargo was lost. Imagine 30 or so of these types of beds just sitting underwater some 150 feet down! Gives a different meaning to the term “sleeping with the fishes”.

What We Can Do

We need to act immediately to reduce man-made pollution in our waters. Every year 100,000 marine mammals are killed due to our pollution. Toxic chemicals brought into the oceans from rain-water and run-off are major contributors so we must consider organic farming alternatives and reduce the use of these chemicals and fertilizers.

We encourage you to do what you can to prevent further pollution!