Pollution is a killer. It is terrifying and ugly, not just for the animals, but for humanity too. Our Earth is coming to an end. We as humans have become so lazy that we’ve pushed all of our trash into the ocean. Ocean animals are forced to live in our disgust while we continue to pile it on further and further. There are repercussions to our laziness, and we must learn to deal with them all. In an article titled “ Florida’s Coral Reef is Disintegrating” by Laura Parker, there are many facts stated such as, “Coral reefs around the world have been in decline for decades and the causes are numerous – from pollution and human-caused destruction to bleaching events that occur when ocean temperatures rise.
Now acidification, which is happening as the oceans absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, may turn out to be an even more deadly threat” Parker states.
If the coral reefs die, we will have taken away habitats, food sources, and there is no telling how many species will be wiped out.These species can take down an entire food chain. At University of Miami, Marine Biology Professor, Chris Langdon, gave a lot of input to Parker. He shares, “Lots of scientists think that ocean acidification is not going to be a problem until 2050 or 2060. This is happening now. We’ve just lost 35 years we thought we had to turn things around.” We are losing time to fix this problem because of how rapidly it is occuring.
During a study Langdon preformed he has found some alarming news. Parker shares, “The samples show the limestone, the reef’s skeletal foundation, breaks down in the fall and winter months faster than coral can produce new limestone in the spring and summer. Consequently, parts of the reef, especially in the Upper Keys closer to Miami, have already reached what Langdon calls the “tipping point”. We are not giving the reefs a chance to replenish themselves because of how much damage we are causing.
Not only are the coral reefs suffering, but so is our marine life. In another article I found by Doyle Rice, I discovered that between Hawaii and California, there was 600,000 square miles found of nothing but plastic and trash. That is two times the size of Texas. Joost Dubois, a spokesman for The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, spoke to Rice. “There’s a sense of urgency, ‘It’s a ticking time bomb of larger material,’ Dubois said. ‘We’ve got to get it before it breaks down into a size that’s too small to collect and also dangerous for marine life.’ So many animals have been found suffering, dead, or on the brink of death because of the trash we leave behind. Sea turtles have been found missing limbs because of our plastics, seals found suffocation slowly, and birds choke on our disgust, as humans we should not let these animals suffer the way they have. We are the reason the marine life is struggling. From there, Rice goes on to speak about the lasting of plastic.“
Since plastic has been around only since the 1950s, there’s no way of knowing exactly how long it will last in the ocean. If left alone, the plastic could remain there for decades, centuries or even longer” Rice says. That’s decades of animals dying, species suffering extinction, and the beauty of our earth decaying, all because we are too lazy to recycle. Imagine if we had to live suffering in someone else’s filth.
Brian Hutchinson gave a few simple ideas in an article he wrote for Oceanic Society, on how we can fight back and protect our oceans. One of his suggestions is to participate in, or organize, a beach clean up. “ This is one of the most direct and rewarding ways to fight ocean plastic pollution. You can simply go to the beach or waterway and collect plastic waste on your own or with friends or family, or you can join a local organization’s cleanup” Hutchinson says. By taking a positive outlook on bettering our community, we become better people.
Another suggestion Hutchinson gave was to recycle properly. He said, “ Recycling helps keep plastics out of the ocean and reduces the amount of “new” plastic in circulation “. The less plastic we make, the less that ends up in the ocean.
You can recycle your old plastics to your local recycling center. Finally he suggests to avoid using products that contain microbeads. “Microbeads are found in some face scrubs, toothpastes, and body washes, and they readily enter our oceans and waterways through our sewer systems, and affect hundreds of marine species” Hutchinson shares. These product have been proven fatal to many sea animals, if you wouldn’t let your pet have it, why these animals? All over the world, ocean pollution has been a major problem. This silent killer is offing entire species, habitats, and food sources. Ocean acidification is just the beginning of tearing down the skeleton of our ocean.
Plastic pollution is slowly depopulating the living animals in our oceans. The only way to bring this to an end is if we all work together and clean up the damage we’ve created. Ocean pollution is one of the worst mistakes we’ve ever made, let’s not make it the last.