17.8: Marine Pollution
- Page ID
Major types of ocean pollution include:
* Solid Waste
* Heavy metals and toxic chemical compounds.
Critical factors relating to ocean pollution:
*There are many ways these substance end up in the ocean ranging from intentional dumping, acts of ignorance, to impacts of disasters (natural and otherwise).
* The majority of pollutants come from land. According to NOAA studies, about 80 percent of marine pollution comes from sources on land (Figure 17.9).
* Man-made products become pollution when exposed to natural processes that move them through the natural environment. Materials like paper and metals typically decay, but plastic and glass can survive indefinitely. Plastic bags, nets, and fishing lines can trap, injure, and strangle marine creatures. Small plastic objects are consumed and block digestion. Inks, dyes, metals, and toxins from cigarette butts can poison sea life on all tropic levels.
Figure 17.9. Garbage that has washed up on a beach in Hawaii.