Oct 072017
 
Startling Facts About Ocean Pollution You Need to Know Right Now One of the major environmental issues that we get to hear about today is about ocean pollution, and how it is taking its toll on marine life. This problem is no more a thing of tomorrow. The denial mode might seem comforting, but the fact is, we are already at the receiving end. According to the data compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), approximately 1.4 billion lbs of trash is dumped in the oceans every year. On an average, 8 million items of marine litter are disposed in oceans every single year; approximately 5 million of which are either thrown off board or lost during a storm. It is estimated that 70 percent of the total marine litter is deposited at the seabed; the remaining 30 percent either keeps floating in the ocean or is washed ashore (beach trash). Interestingly, pollution caused by marine transportation only accounts for 10 percent of the total ocean pollution; even that is down from 12 percent in 1990. As a part of the annual International Coastal Cleanup campaign, 598,000 volunteers collected over 9 million lbs of trash from various sites across the world in 2011. In oceanography, 'ocean pollution' is described as pollution of ocean water due to accidental, or deliberate dumping of harmful materials, such as crude oil, ore, or toxic materials, in it. Around 2 million plastic bottles are used in the United States every 5 minutes. Marine debris include a wide range of items – right from cigarette butts and plastic bottles to abandoned fishing nets and oil spilled by vessels plying in these oceans. Marine animals either ingest these debris by mistake or get entangled in them, and end up dying in most of the cases. Shorebirds and other terrestrial species are directly or indirectly dependent on the marine biome, and therefore, are vulnerable to ocean pollution. In their annual Beach Sweep report, the 'Clean Ocean Action' comes up with a list of unusual items found in beach trash — which they call the Roster of Ridiculous. In 2011, this list had some really unusual things, including car bumpers, hair curlers, wax teeth, fire extinguisher, and even a water cooler. Approximately 80 percent of the total ocean pollution is attributed to land-based activities, i.e., non-point sources, like untreated sewage, industrial waste, agricultural runoff, surface runoff, etc. (more…)