Pollution Affecting The Ocean

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How Is Pollution Affecting Ecosystems And Life In The Oceans?

Until recently, it was widely assumed that no matter how much trash and chemicals we dumped into the ocean, the effects would be negligible. Because of that assumtion, there is a thousand-mile-wide swath of decomposing plastic in the Northern Pacific Ocean. Pollution is the introduction of harmful contaminants that are outside the norm for a given ecosystem. Degration of shoreline areas has accelerated dramatically in the past three centuries due to common man-made pollutants that reach the ocean, such as pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, detergents, oil, sewage plastics, and other solids. These pollutants collect at the oceans depths and are often eaten by small marine organisms which, following the food chain, could harm not only other fish but us humans. For example, Pharmaceuticals ingested by humans but not fully processed by our own bodies are eventually ending up in the fish we eat.

What About Oil Spills?

Oil Spills Affect Ocean Mammals, Ocean Plants, And Birds. Heres How:

Effects of an oil spill can and will be more serious when birds are migrating or flocking to feed or breed, or when fish are spawning. Birds can be smothered or drowned by oil. It causes birds' feathers to stick together, preventing them from flying or swimming. They'd swallow oil when trying to clean their feathers, which can poison them. Not unlike these birds, If marine mammals, like otters and sea lions, are caught in oil spills the oil will stick to their fur and prevent the fur from keeping them warm, also being poisoned when trying to clean themselves. Oil can also kill algae and seaweeds that provide food for marine life. IT can also ruin plants that provide habitats where animals live, feed, and beed.