Trash Pollution In The Ocean – Marine Litter Tools for Educators: Citizen Science and Community Engagement in Educational Settings (60-minute Webinar)

Every year, billions of pounds of trash and other pollutants enter the ocean. Where does this pollution come from? Where is it going? Some waste ends up on our beaches, washed up by waves and tides. Some trash sinks, some is eaten by marine animals who mistake it for food, and some accumulates in ocean gyres. Other forms of pollution that affect ocean health come from sources such as oil spills or from the accumulation of more widespread sources, such as fertilizer in our backyards.

Trash Pollution In The Ocean

Plastic wash bottles, plates, bowls, combs, and water bottle blankets in Kanapou Bay, Kaholave ​​Island, Hawaii. The region is a hotspot for marine debris accumulation. (Image credit:)

Ocean Pollution And Marine Debris

Most of the pollutants entering the ocean come from human-made coastlines and distant inland waters. One of the largest sources of pollution is non-point source pollution, which occurs as a result of runoff. Non-point source pollution can come from many sources, such as septic tanks, vehicles, farms, livestock and logging areas. Pollution from a single source, such as an oil or chemical spill, is called point source pollution. Incidents of point source pollution often have significant impacts, but fortunately, they occur less frequently. Emissions from faulty or damaged plants or water treatment systems are also considered source pollution.

Two underwater robots have been launched to automatically monitor and measure the toxicity of harmful algal blooms in the Great Lakes.

Sometimes it is not the type of material, but its concentration that determines whether a substance is a pollutant. For example, nitrogen and phosphorus are important elements for plant growth. However, if there are too many of them in the water, they can stimulate growth, triggering an event known as an algal bloom. Harmful algal blooms (HABs), also known as “red tides,” grow rapidly and cause toxic effects that affect marine life and even humans. Excess substances in water bodies due to natural or human activities can cause hypoxia or dead zones. When large amounts of algae sink and decay, the process of decomposition uses up oxygen and reduces the supply available for healthy marine life. Most of the marine species that live in these areas either die or, if they are mobile (like fish), leave the area.

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Using ecological forecasting, one can predict changes in ecosystems in response to HABs and other environmental drivers. These forecasts provide information on how people, economies and societies may be affected. For example, the Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring System developed by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Sciences helps the public and local governments decide whether to temporarily close beaches to protect public health.

Plastic Pollution Is Killing Coral Reefs, 4 Year Study Finds

In 2015, fifth-graders from Falmouth, Massachusetts saw a problem. Although millions of tons of plastic waste enter the ocean every year, people around us continue to use single-use plastics. In short, plastic was the norm. To solve this problem, the students worked with Falmouth Water Managers to ‘Skip the Straw’.

Marine debris is a pollution problem that reaches the entire ocean and the Great Lakes. Our oceans and waterways are polluted by a variety of marine debris, from tiny microplastics, smaller than 5mm, to fishing gear and abandoned ships. Hundreds of marine species around the world have been adversely affected by marine debris, which can injure or kill animals when they get caught in or come into contact with them, and threaten the habitats they depend on. Marine debris also interferes with the safety of navigation and can pose a risk to human health.

Most of all marine debris comes from land and ends up in the oceans and the Great Lakes as a result of extreme natural events such as garbage, poor waste management, stormwater runoff, and tsunamis and hurricanes. Some debris, such as fishing gear, may also come from ocean-based sources. This lost or abandoned gear is a big problem because it can trap and kill wildlife, damage sensitive habitats, and even compete with and damage active fishing gear.

Local, national and international efforts are needed to solve this environmental problem. The Protect Our Seas Act of 2018 amends and authorizes the Marine Debris Act to promote international action, allow for cleanup and response efforts, and strengthen coordination among federal agencies on the subject.

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The New Inventions Saving Our Oceans From Plastic Pollution

Garbage patches are large areas of the ocean where garbage, fishing gear and other marine debris accumulate. The term “garbage patch” is a misleading nickname, as many people think of garbage as “islands of garbage” that can be seen from afar. These areas are filled with really large amounts of debris, from microplastics to large fishing gear.

These ridges are formed by large, rotating ocean currents called gyres, which carry debris to one location, often the center of the gyre. There are five gyres in the ocean: one in the Indian Ocean, two in the Atlantic Ocean, and two in the Pacific Ocean. Garbage cans of various sizes are located on each floor. Debris is constantly changing size and shape due to winds and currents. The debris that makes up trash can be found from the surface of the ocean to the bottom of the ocean.

A healthy ocean starts with us. Learn how student leaders in American Samoa interned as part of a microplastics research project to protect ocean health.

Heavy metals and other pollutants can accumulate in seafood, which is harmful to humans. Microplastics can be used by fish and other species to filter their food from the water. With one-third of the United States’ shellfish growing waters adversely affected by coastal pollution, it’s important for its partners to study the impact of microplastics and other harmful pollutants on seafood. Across the country, basic research is being done on the risks to wildlife and people from litter and food. monitors seafood contamination and provides safety advice through the FishWatch program.

Discarded Plastic Trash Pollution On Contaminated Ocean Sea Coast Ecosystem,environmental Waste Stock Photo

Trash seems to be everywhere…it litters the streets, hangs in the trees above rivers, and washes up on our country’s shores. Maybe that’s because Americans produced 262 million tons of solid waste in 2015, 13 percent of which was plastic—the equivalent of about 21 million school buses.

Whether people live on the coast or far inland, they are part of the problem—and the solution—to ocean pollution. Through this collection of resources and information, students can learn about the types of pollution that are harming our oceans and what they can do to prevent pollution wherever they live. The Marine Litter Program provides many educational resources to help educators, students, families and adults better understand this global problem. Keiron Philip Roberts Osaka received funding from the Government of Japan to conduct research for the United Nations International Resources Board on the use of the blue ocean. Appearance.

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It seems you can’t go a day without reading about the impact of plastic on our oceans. The equivalent of a garbage truck’s worth of plastic waste enters the sea every minute, and it’s increasing every day. If we do nothing, the amount of plastic entering the ocean will increase from 13 million tons this year to 29 million tons in 2040.

Additionally, almost all plastic that enters the ocean is there because it takes centuries to break down. It is buried or broken into smaller pieces and passes through the food chain, causing potential problems.

What Would Happen If The Oceans Are Completely Covered With Plastic?

However, plastic has also been a savior. The COVID-19 pandemic has allowed countries to lock down during social distancing to stockpile masks, test kits, screens and food. We need to use these things until there is a sustainable and “COVID safe” alternative. But we must also look to the future to reduce our reliance on plastic and its impact on the environment. Because ocean plastic is a global problem, we need global agreements and policies to reverse the plastic tide.

Environment ministers from the G20 group of the world’s most economically powerful countries and regions gathered on September 16 to discuss their challenges, with marine plastic pollution at the forefront. The main point for discussion was “protecting the planet by making a collective effort to protect the global commons”. It explains how we can continue to use the planet’s resources sustainably without harming the environment.

“Planet or Plastic?” at the ArtScience Museum in Singapore. A photo of a turtle caught in an old fishing net is on display. How Hwee Yong/EPA (turtle photo

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