June 8th is the world ocean day. Everyone knows the importance of the ocean – the hypothalamus that maintains the homeostasis of the globe. Not only does the ocean currents regulate climate, but it also keeps a healthy balance of elements in the air and is one of the providers of freshwater in the water cycle. In addition, the ocean hosts an unimaginable value of biodiversity, the lowest estimation of about 230,000 species (Brahic). Each specie plays a crucial role in the food chain. Even just planktons alone contribute approximately 70% of the world’s oxygen (“Save”).
What is the biggest pollution in the ocean? According to NOAA, the main source is runoff such as chemical leaks from “farms,” “tanks,” “cars,” and “boats,” etc.
What can we do about it?
I briefly summarized 10 things we can do to reduce the pollution of runoff from the article linked above.
- Prevent oil leaks and recycle cars’ fluids like antifreeze or used oil.
- Wash the car on your lawn or at a commercial car wash.
- Reduce car emissions as much as possible.
- Try to use organic fertilizer (tips: I heard that plants love the compost made from the kitchen trash).
- Minimizing the lawn, which uses tons of water (average volume is 1020 gallons per day… a person drinks ½ or 1 gallon per day). Try planting “native, drought-resistant” vegetation.
- Septic systems can be a sustainable water treatment if it’s taken care of. The leaks from it could be harmful to clean freshwater sources.
- Clean after pets (I mean… they are not as bad as chemicals? But for the sake of being a responsible citizen, please pick up after your pets :’) )
- Support and volunteer for the stormwater/runoff treatment program!
- using coral-reefs friendly sunscreen.
- Be an essentialist and choose a convenient neighborhood to limit cost on transportation, etc.
There are other lists online. For instance, some suggestions from -> https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/ocean/help-our-ocean.html
You don’t have to be a scientist or “environmentalist” to be sustainable. It’s a lifestyle that everyone can choose to build a better community 😀
Y.s. Ding 6/8/2020
Brahic, Catherine. “How Many Species Live in the Sea?” New Scientist, 25 June 2008, http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14206-how-many-species-live-in-the-sea/.
National Geographic Society. “Save the Plankton, Breathe Freely.” National Geographic Society, 7 Aug. 2015, http://www.nationalgeographic.org/activity/save-the-plankton-breathe-freely/.
US Department of Commerce, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “What Is the Biggest Source of Pollution in the Ocean?” NOAA’s National Ocean Service, 8 Oct. 2008, oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/pollution.html.