Guest post by Kendal Yoakum, Marketing Coordinator at Natural Habitat Adventures
I’ll admit it…marine pollution isn’t an uplifting topic. But it’s necessary once in a while to bring attention to not-so-pleasant subjects that impact us.
Each day more and more pollutants enter our rivers and oceans, compromising our drinking water and the marine life who call these waters their home. These contaminants include sewage, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, herbicides, oil, detergents…the list goes on and on. The infographic below demonstrates the magnitude of our dumping and disposal habits around the world.
A perfect example of the increasing threat of marine pollution can be found on Midway Island, so-named because it is approximately half way between North America and Asia. One of the most remote islands on the planet, the once pristine beaches are slowly being tarnished by an influx of marine pollution washing ashore each year from the Pacific Garbage Patch. This not only mars the aesthetic beauty of the shoreline, but it also has a huge, and deadly, impact on the wildlife.
A beautiful film due out early this year captures the harm marine pollution can cause by highlighting its effects on the albatross on Midway Island. Midway, a film by directors Chris Jordan and Sabine Emiliani, is a beautiful and tragic story of what most people in the world hardly ever witness. Watch the trailer here:
But there is hope. WWF is working to build and maintain networks of Marine Protected Areas, ensuring they are designed and managed so that both humans and nature benefit. There are many national and international laws that now forbid dumping of hazardous materials into the ocean. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Agriculture, and other federal agencies have aligned with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to develop ways to monitor and control nonpoint source pollution. Isolated efforts by individuals and small groups have been made to restore bays and estuaries, including Midway Island, and marine sanctuaries have been created in an attempt to maintain ecosystems.
We are all a part of this crazy world, and while you may not live near an ocean, marine pollution is real and affects each and every one of us. Want to do your part to help prevent marine pollution? Check out these “10 Things You Can Do for Trash Free Seas” from The Ocean Conservancy.