Ocean Pollution Community College

Ocean Pollution

Luke Ruschell

Northern Virginia Community College

ENG 111

Professor Gray


Ocean Pollution

Ocean pollution is an accumulation of trash as well as chemicals that mostly originate from the land through different and has been washed or blown into the sea. Ocean pollution causes environmental health damage to all organisms as well as damage to structures around the world. Ocean waters span over 70 % of the Earth, and people have started understanding how humans affect this watery habitat only in recent decades. As distinct from other water pollution, ocean pollution focuses on products created by people entering the ocean. Prior to 1972, people split the waste, sewage sludges, chemical, industrial as well as radioactive waste into the sea recklessly. Million tons of heavy metals and chemical contaminants were deliberately thrown into the sea together with thousands of containers of radioactive waste.

The London Convention, ratified by the United States in the year 1975, is the first global agreement to define better marine protection. The convention implemented control measures that prevented hazardous materials from being disposed of on sea. In 2006 the latest agreement, the London Protocol, came into effect, particularly prohibiting all waste and material excluding a few items, such as dredging materials. Most of those materials sink to sea depths or even float far away from where they came from, where they are ingested and brought into the world food chain by small ocean organisms (Haward, 2018). In today’s world, ocean contamination is an

increasing problem. .Marine pollution encompasses several types of pollution, such as chemical, noise, plastic as well as light pollution, which disrupts the marine ecosystem.

Chemical pollution

This involves the introduction of harmful chemical substances into the ocean. Pesticides, herbicides, fertilizing agents, detergents, oil, industrial chemicals, and wastes are commonly manufactured pollutants that reach the ocean. This type of pollution is caused by the rush of chemical products into waterways flowing in the ocean, particularly when fertilizers are being used by humans in farms. The increase in chemical concentrations in the coastal ocean, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, encourages algal floral growth, which can be toxic and harmful for wildlife. The adverse environmental and health effects of algae blooming also affect the local fishing and tourism sector.

Light pollution

Light has spread around the world, reaching virtually every single ecosystem ever since the light bulb was invented. Often considered a land problem, scientists begin to understand the effects artificial light has on water organisms. Light enters underwater, creating an enormously different world for fish inhabiting shallow waters near the shores in the vicinity of urban areas. Light interferes with the normal signals of circadian rhythms, which are involved in species timing, reproduction, and feeding. Artificial light during the night can facilitate the finding of smaller fish by predators and can affect reef fish breeding.

Noise pollution

Not every time pollution is visible. Sound waves can travel long distances in large bodies of water undisturbed. The rise in the number of deafening and persistent sounds by vessels and oil plants affects natural marine sounds in the ocean environment. Low visibility and wide distances Non-visual submarine communication is essential for many marine mammals, such as whales and dolphins. Whale’s utilize echolocation sounds to reflect the surface in order to see in the sea. Noises that are not natural disrupts the communication of a large number of marine animals by interrupting migration, communication as well as reproduction.

Plastic pollution

Marine trash includes all products manufactured, mostly plastic products that end in the sea. The piling up of this trash, 80 per cent coming from land, is due to littering, winds and bad waste management (Howard, 2019). Usual types of sea debris involve numerous plastic items like butts of cigarettes, cans, carrier bags, as well as fishing gear, involving shopping bags and drinking bottles. Plastic waste is especially problematic as it is very durable. The decomposition of plastic products can take quite a number of years.

This waste poses both humans as well as animal hazards. Fish get injured in the waste, and some fish can mistake and eat the items as food, such as carrying bags (Lau & Baulch, 2020). Small organisms use small bits of broken-down, microplastic plastic to feed and ingest chemicals into their tissues from the plastic. Microplastics with a diameter of less than 5 mm are discovered in a variety of ocean species, such as whales and also plankton (Reddy, 2020). When larger animals eat tiny organisms that consume plastics, the dangerous materials become part of their cells and tissues. This allows plastic pollution to migrate into the alimentary chain and finally into the food that is eaten by humans. Sea mining

Mining in the sea is a new process of extraction of minerals under the bottom of the sea.

Sea mining sites are generally located around large places of polymetallic nodules or at approximately 3,000 to 6,500 meters below sea level with active and extinct hydrothermal vents (Ackerman, 2020). The vents create deposits of sulfides that contain valuable metals like gold, manganese, cobalt as well as zinc. The deposits are mined by the use of hydraulic pumps or bucket systems that transport ore to the surface to be processed. Deep marine mining, like all mining activities, raises questions concerning possible environmental damage for the surrounding areas. Due to the relatively new field of deep-sea mining, the entire consequences of large-scale mining are not known. Scientists are, however, sure that removing parts of the sea will lead to benthic layer disturbances, increased water column toxicity and sedimentary plums from tailings. Removal of parts of the seafloor affects benthic organisms’ habitats, potentially causing perceptual disturbances in regard to the type and location of mining. In addition to direct mining impacts, leaks spill, as well as corrosion can alter the chemical composition of the mining area.

The effects of sea mining are believed to have a huge effect on sediment plumes. Plumes are made up when the mining tailings are dumped back into the ocean, and a cloud of elements floating in the ocean water is created. There are two types of plumes: the near-floor plumes and the surface plumes. When the tailings are pumped back into the mining site, near-bottom plumes are produced. The floating elements increase water turbidity and cloudiness by obstructing the filter-feeding utilized by benthic organisms. Surface plumes can cause a more severe problem. The plumes could spread across vast areas depending on the size of elements as well as water currents. Zooplankton and light penetration could be affected by the plumes, which would also affect the food web.


Improving wastewater management

This can be done by creating and constructing sustainable wastewater systems for people who do not have access to controlled waste disposal facilities. Untreated wastewater contains various pollutants, such as pathogens and chemical substances (Rhodes, 2018). It can pose serious health hazards to humans and sea animals.

Adopting green chemistry Practices

These include the ban on tough-to-manage substances such as expanded polystyrene, the restriction of the use of chemicals of concern such as phthalates and materials support research. Creating new materials that retain but not with plastic characteristics, such as genuine biodegradables, would avoid plastic-causing hazards if they enter the sea (Hollaway et al., 2020).

Recovering and recycling

Recovery and recycling waste materials in the formal and informal sectors, through the implementation of extended legislation on production responsibility, incentives for waste management and recycling, the strengthening of recycled plastics markets, and the implementation of Fishing for litter programs (McDermott, 2016).

Implementing coastal zone improvements

By, for instance, restricting open sea aquaculture. Switching to sustainable land-based aquaculture systems may reduce the number of coastal aquaculture pollutants, including plastic pollution resulting from lost and disposed of equipment as well as a high level of nitrogen as well as phosphorus waste untreated. The promotion of participation in Adopt-a-Beach programs and clean beach certificates such as Blue Flag and Project Aware can cut back the litter on beaches and increase awareness of pollution (Hollaway et al., 2020).

Creating Public Awareness programs

The necessary global determination to tackle the problems effectively can be inadequate without sufficient awareness of ocean pollution. Balanced information on ocean pollution sources and impacts needs to be made part of the awareness, and continuing research is needed in order to fully identify the scope of issues and keep them up-to-date. The awareness of ocean pollution is crucial to preventing waste from entering river systems and ending up in the oceans (Löhr et al., 2017). For example, one of the reasons the Chinese lack environmental concern is due to inadequate public awareness; therefore, they should be targeted.


Ackerman, D. (2020). Deep-Sea Mining: How to Balance Need for Metals with Ecological

Impacts. Scientific American. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/deep-sea-mining-how-to-balance-need-for


Haward, M. (2018). Plastic pollution of the world’s seas and oceans as a contemporary challenge in ocean governance. Nature Communications, 9(1).


Hollaway, L., Jambeck, J., Moss, E., & Dubey, B. (2020). How to Reduce Plastic and Other

Ocean Pollution Simultaneously. Www.wri.org.

https://www.wri.org/insights/how-reduce-plastic-and-other-ocean-pollution-simultane ously

Howard, J. (2019, August 2). Marine pollution facts and information. Environment.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/critical-issues-marine-pollut ion

Lau, W., & Baulch, S. (2020, May 18). Ocean Plastic Pollution—and Solutions to This

Problem—Can Come in Many Forms. Pew.org.



Löhr, A., Savelli, H., Beunen, R., Kalz, M., Ragas, A., & Van Belleghem, F. (2017).

Solutions for global marine litter pollution. Current Opinion in Environmental

Sustainability, 28, 90–99. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2017.08.009

McDermott, A. (2016). Solutions for Ocean Pollution. LoveToKnow; LoveToKnow Corp. https://greenliving.lovetoknow.com/Solutions_for_Ocean_Pollution

Reddy, S. (2020). Solving Ocean Plastic Pollution Won’t Be Easy, but We Have No Choice. Pew.org. https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/articles/2020/10/02/solving-ocea n-plastic-pollution-wont-be-easy-but-we-have-no-choice

Rhodes, C. J. (2018). Plastic Pollution and Potential Solutions. Science Progress, 101(3),

207–260. https://doi.org/10.3184/003685018×15294876706211

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