Pollution and Littering in Virginia

by: Isabella, Kayla, and Elizabeth

Lets start with the types of pollution...


In 1972, congress passed a clean water act. The only bad thing about this is, well, that it has completely failed. There are records of children with injuries, such as scabs, that have come from swimming in polluted water. Jennifer Hall-Massey and her family avoid drinking their tap water and touching polluted water. Her youngest son has scabs on his arms, legs, and chest where polluted bath water was used. The water was polluted with lead, nickel, and other metals!

Another bad effect of water pollution is that it can kill animal life. If any type of marine life ingests or gets caught in unnecessary materials in the water they could die! oil in water is extremely deadly to animals. Fish can be poisoned and their scales can be damaged. Birds can get smothered in oil and their feathers can be damaged too (if oil gets on a birds wings they cannot fly).

Now, how does water get polluted?

When fossil fuels are burned for energy it adds to air pollution, and then air pollution returns to earth as acid rain, and that produces water pollution. Also, bodies of water, such as oceans, have been contaminated by oil runoff, fertilizer, industrial waste, and pesticides draining into the water!

Think about it...

Did you know that the fertilizer you used on your lawn a year ago is possibly in the fish you are trying to catch?

Light Pollution

Light pollution happens when extreme amounts of light are misdirected into space causing starlight to be washed out by city lights. We waste two billion dollars of taxpayer money every year on lights that are directed towards space instead of towards us.

We can’t see half the stars in the sky because of light pollution. Have you ever thought of how astronomers feel about this? How are they supposed to see and study the stars if they can’t see half of them?

Also, did you know that when sea turtles hatch, their instinct is to go towards starlight or moonlight that reflects off waves? The baby sea turtles will go towards city, parking lot, or house lights if they are bright enough. This means they will never make it to the ocean and will die causing the sea turtle population to dwindle.

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Air Pollution

Good air quality is a very important thing to have where anyone lives. Air quality can get polluted from gasses produced in factories or fumes from our cars. Bad air quality means the air is polluted and this can cause more human and animal deaths. although Virginia’s statistics say that the amount of air pollution has gone down in the last decade, we still want it to keep going down.

Virginia emitted 9.5 million lbs of toxic air in 2010. Virginia made the toxic 20 list for the second time in a row. the toxic 20 list is the list of states that have a higher risk of health problems because of air pollution!


Have you walked down the street of your neighborhood or district and found trash on the floor? Or drive down a highway and find random pieces of trash along the road? well that is called litter.

Littering has really affected Virginia. People are too lazy to go and throw trash away in a trash can or recycle bin, so they decide they should just get rid of it on the spot. Trash builds up if no one cleans it, and everyone proceeds to litter. Littering makes our community look bad and quite honestly, trashy. but littering doesn’t stop there. It has been getting into our beaches and oceans. Cigarettes litter the beaches along with wrappers and bottles. These pieces of trash don’t stay there, even if someone doesn’t pick them up. When the tide comes in, it picks up the trash and takes it out to sea. Surprisingly, this brings on a whole other issue, animals. When the trash is taken out to sea animals (fish, birds, etc) can be choked, cut, and killed from these materials. Are we really willing to kill off our sea creature population and our community’s looks just because we are to lazy to find a trash can? I think not! Let's stop this chain of unfortunate events now!