Ocean pollution is a big problem that can lead to many ecological changes, which in turn harms the entire universe and also lead to destruction of ocean plants and fish. Considering the fact that a major part of the earthâs surface is ocean and half of the oxygen in the earth is produced by phytoplankton, ocean pollution is a major problem to be dealt with.
It is only our combined effort that can make a change in this condition and save our ecosystem. Letâs take a look at five things that we can do to create a welcome change.
1. Restore ocean habitat
The ocean bed which has been poisoned by the trash and the industrial waste has lead to the destruction of many fish and sea weeds. Thankfully, there is still time to restore all these with the combined effort of a few who are interested in saving mother earth. You can help in planting sea grass, cleaning trash from the shores and helping in volunteer work that can create awareness and help in restoring the co system that we value so deeply. The local authorities can help in such activities by providing the essentials like trash bins, boats and gloves for the cleaning process. A group of enthusiastic people can help a lot to restore the lost habitat and create a better ocean with lesser pollutants strewn into it.
2. Remove endangered species from your menu
Exotic flavors are a favorite with all of us. The very mention of exotic dishes would bring mouth watering sensations in our stomach and mouth. What we all fail to remember is the fact that certain species of fish like sword fish, orange roughy, etc., which we relish could be well heading for the endangered category and would soon leave a huge gap in the food chain which can again lead to ecological imbalance.
The trawlers that catch fish are catching them swifter, without allowing the fish a chance to breed and multiply. This will soon lead to younger and thinner looking fish in the market and dwindling number of such species in the sea.
You can chip in by publicizing the pocket guide that Monterey Bay Aquarium has released which lists endangered species and other fish that can be included in the menu instead of these rare varieties. You may also look for the Marine Stewardship Council Eco Label to look for fish that are abundant.
3. Clean up pet waste
Though many people are unaware of this, pet waste is a major source of pollution with toxins and harmful bacteria that cause destruction in the ocean bed. Sewage too which is replete with nutrients can cause a lot of damage to the ocean as it encourages the multiplication of anaerobic bacteria. The growth of anaerobic bacteria can lead to anoxic zones in seawater which is an area where all the oxygen in the seawater is removed, making it difficult for fish and sea creatures to breathe.
Cat poo and dog droppings too are full of e coli and salmonella which spread to the land as well as the sea through rain water and destruct the ocean life. To control this, you can flush dog droppings down the toilet where they will be treated in the sewage processing plants and converted into harmless waste. However, the same should not be done for cat poo as cat poo is not biodegradable and would damage the pipe if done so.
4. Use of organic fertilizers
When you have a garden and a lawn in your compound, the use of fertilizers become imperative. This will harm the surrounding environment and the harmful chemicals are finally washed into the sea, again causing destruction and damage. Pollution from fertilizers will cause eutrophication which will lead to development of algae in water. In the sea, it causes red tides and harms the organisms in the sea.
Using organic fertilizers, compost and mulch will get rid of this problem. They have essential nutrients that are good for the plants and prevent harmful substances form seeping into the soil and sea.
5. Use permeable ground cover
The use of impermeable ground cover can adversely affect the water in oceans, lakes and rivers as the rain water will not be absorbed properly into the soil. This rainwater will flood residential areas and lead to rapid erosion of soil which will fill the lakes and oceans leading to poor water quality and seeping of harmful waste and other materials into the ocean.
Use of permeable ground and roof coves will take care of this problem as they help in containing runoff and prevent animal and plant damage.