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Political Pollution: Government Funded Issues Affecting Our Oceans.

Ocean pollution is a huge cause of economic fails and needs to be addressed by the government. Funding is always put towards adding new attractions at the beach and pulling in beach goers to make a profit. However, if ocean pollution is not focused on, there won’t be any beaches to go to. The fight to save our oceans from pollution is on going, and although there is funding being put in place to clean up the beaches, the problem of open ocean pollution needs to be addressed more. Some 322 million tons of plastic, which amounted to more than 900 Empire State Buildings in mass, was produced in 2015, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (Ming, 2018). Several issues involving ocean pollution include, effects on the economy, oil spills, government factories dumping pollution into lakes and rivers, and non-point source pollution. Looking at these issues all together can broaden perspective about what’s going on in our oceans and how the government should realize that without our oceans, economy will collapse if it isn’t protected.

The first main problem causing ocean pollution was government funded pollution including oil rigs. This subject is important to look at to see the certain effects it has on the ocean. Oil spills can be one of the most devastating disasters to an ocean ecosystem. In a few moments after a spill occurs over 50% of marine life, reefs, and beaches will be destroyed and in the future; even after regrowth, can have long lasting effects that can’t be undone. In 2010, many remember the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It leaked 4 million barrels over five months. (Washington Post, Oil spills, 2019). This one oil spill alone wiped out most ecosystems and permanently caused pollution damage to reefs and wildlife. If the government would step in and form a plan with oil companies to create a protection agent to catch oil so it doesn’t spill, our oceans would be healthier. There is always a way to prevent a tragedy, the importance and funding of preventing ocean pollution can protect wildlife and keep beaches clean for visitors.

Another form of government funded pollution is industry and factory waste. Chemicals, trash, water waste, hazardous products are being dumped into our lakes, rivers, and streams, in the end leading into the ocean. Chemicals can kill marine life and coral reefs within minutes and added trash piles up to kill what survives. It is urgent to step up and for the government to step in and create a new way for industries to dump their waste without destroying the oceans. United States process approximately 34 billion gallons of wastewater every day. Wastewater contains nitrogen and phosphorus from human waste, food and certain soaps and detergents. Once the water is cleaned to standards set and monitored by state and federal officials, it is typically released into a local water body, where it can become a source of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution (EPA, Wastewater pollution) This fact about wastewater from the Environmental Protection Agency provides information on pollution that is dumped into our oceans from water treatment plants. This is in fact no good treatment at all and is causing more harm than good. In no time we could be looking at an ocean full of “dead zones,” which are areas that contain so much pollution there is no wildlife whatsoever. By taking a stand, government officials can listen to the public's concern for the ocean and create new eco friendly ways for their factories to run. A clean ocean is the key to a healthy world.

Graphs:

When looking at these two graphs you can see the different aspects causing ocean pollution. Referring to the graph on the left, you can see the different pollutants destroying our oceans and beaches. (Marquis Brown, Sewage Ocean Pollution Organization) Things such as offshore oil rigs (5%), transportation(10%), and industrial wastewater (10%) are all government controlled and can be changed to help end pollution. Oil rigs need to be better monitored and need to have a “safety net plan” so that spills will not occur. Carbon Monoxide in put into the air by transportation can be lessened by having mandatory eco friendly vehicles. Government funded industrial plants need to completely change, most plants dump their wastewater and trash into lakes, rivers, and streams, which all lead to the ocean. Several people can be affected by pollution, sewage in water can cause illness and disease. Pollution can also cause unsafe beaches and can be a potential for injury. If the government stands up and makes a change, the graph referred to on the right would not have the United States at #2 for the most pollution being put into the ocean.

Public Opinion Poll

  • 60 percent see the ocean in their state as “extremely” or “very important” to their overall quality of life.

  • 75 percent consider the ocean important for future generations, but also see it as vulnerable, and not well-managed.

  • Many also see the ocean as “busy,” More than one-third (34 percent) do not believe the ocean is “well-managed.”

  • 93 percent ranked providing a place for fish and wildlife to live as the top ocean benefit, when presented with a range of benefits the ocean provides. That’s a full 18 points higher than for any other benefit tested. Some of the other benefits cited include:

  • Providing a place for recreation like surfing, fishing, swimming, walking on the beach, biking or viewing birds and other wildlife (75 percent);

  • Providing a place for children to learn about nature (72 percent); and

  • Providing fresh seafood (72 percent).

This is public opinion poll concentrates on the number of people who support ocean planning and protection. (NRDC) Most of the poll agree that the ocean is important and isn’t focused on as much as it should be. The information provided by this poll is important and can be considered useful because it can show government officials the opinions of the people and could encourage them to listen. It also is useful because it mentions the importance of clean beaches that can pull in money. This could also influence officials to focus on real-world problems such as ocean pollution.

sources:

Brown, M. (n.d.). Statistics & Graphs. Retrieved from https://sewageoceanpollution.weebly.com/statistics--graphs.html.

Chase, A. (2018, February 1). New Poll Shows Support for Ocean Planning and Protection.Retrieved from https://www.nrdc.org/experts/alison-chase/New-poll-shows-support-ocean-planning-and-protection.

EPA. The Sources and Solutions: Wastewater. (2019, February 4). Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/nutrientpollution/sources-and-solutions-wastewater.

Fears, D. (2019, March 4). The U.S. is trying to end the longest oil spill in history and this company is fighting against it in court. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2019/03/02/us-is-trying-end-longest-oil-spill-history-this-company-is-trying-stop-it/.

Ming, Cheang. (2018, April 23). Plastic pollution: Firms and governments are combating millions of tons of waste. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/22/Plastic-pollution-firms-and-governments-fight-waste.html.

#ocean #marine #biologist #pollution