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No other planet, as far as we know, has anything resembling an ocean, and the fact that more than seven-tenths of the Earth's surface is covered with water is quite evident. The ocean reservoirs hold about 97% of the planet's stock of water- some 330 million cubic miles of it spread over an area of 139,440,000 square miles (Oceanography). Water pollution progresses every day in our lakes, oceans, rivers, and other bodies of water that we see and use in many ways. Human beings are the most superior race existing in this world. While we regularly implement consuming abilities of valuable resources we also pollute our environments. Water is essential for all living things to survive, yet people still pollute it. There are a wide variety of pollutants that can affect water and the plants and animals that live in the water. This pollution can be divided into three groups: chemical pollution, thermal pollution, and ecological pollution. Since not all pollution is human produced we need to understand that there are sometimes "natural" reasons for some pollution.
Not all pollution is deliberate though, the definition of marine pollution according to the Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Pollution (GESAMP), is "Introduction of man, directly or indirectly, of substance or energy into the marine environment resulting in such deleterious effects as a harm to living resources, hazard to human health, hindrance to marine activities...impairment of quality for use of sea-water, and reduction of amenities" (Michaels). Pollution of lakes rivers, streams, and oceans has been killing land and water animals for years. The marine environment is both fragile and more resistant than the terrestrial ecosystem. It is fragile for the reasons that nutrients are generally present in very low concentrations, permanently consumed by living organisms and pollutants diffuse rapidly. hen a fertilizer, such as a phosphate, is added more algae will grow, and consequently will the populations of zooplankton and fish. Difficulties only arise when the lake is already impure. Zooplankton are sensitive to their environment and many substances are toxic to them.
People cause marine pollution. And people can stop toxic pollution and reduce nutrient pollution to minimum levels. We can do this as thoughtful consumers of energy and materials, as people who reduce, reuse, refuse and recycle, and as citizens who help make the decisions in our communities that will lead to reduced pollution. Being able to answer questions about our communities prepares us to think about the action we can take: where do our wastes go in this community?; where do the natural resources and energy come from?; what are the industrial and agricultural sources of pollution in this community? Being informed is an ongoing process we can never know everything and it should lead to active participation in the decision-making processes. Active participation might include voting in elections, helping to educate others about the issues, and becoming involved in committees and environmental action groups. Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council. June 23, 2003. <http://www.oilspill.state.ak.us/> Clark, R.B., Marine Pollution. New York: oxford University Press, 1986. Stevens, Dave. Oceanography. University of East Anglia. <http://www.mth.uea.ac.uk/ocean/vl/> June 24, 2003. Marine Pollution One. <http://seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov/OCEAN_PLANET/HTML/peril_pollution1.html> June 24, 2003
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