Browsing Tag

Ocean Conservation

Environment

Avoid Oxybenzone Sunscreen If You Want to Prevent Reef Damage

June 3, 2020
oxybenzone reef damage

If there’s one thing dermatologists, scientists and parents can all agree on, it’s that wearing sunscreen is important. Whether it be spray-on sunblock or UV blocking lotion, the product helps protect everyone from the damaging effects of excessive sun exposure. While this is true, not all sunscreens are made equal. In fact, some can be downright harmful — namely, ones that contain oxybenzone.  

Scientists recently discovered this chemical is damaging coral reefs and marine life, especially in areas where humans frequent. Thus, a product that people once thought to be solely beneficial is actually damaging one of the most fragile ecosystems in the world. 

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Environment

What the Atlantic Garbage Patch Says About Pollution

May 6, 2020
atlantic garbage patch

Currently, our planet faces several environmental-related issues. Though we can blame carbon gas emissions for many problems, it’s crucial to consider plastic pollution, as well. Over time, water bottles and food containers make their way to the ocean. As a result, vortexes of trash and debris form and marine wildlife suffer extraordinarily. 

The lesser-known Atlantic Garbage Patch can teach us a lot about sustainable efforts. Take a look.

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Oceans

What Does Ocean Habitat Destruction Mean for Our Planet?

March 27, 2020
ocean habitat destruction

Human activities have been affecting our oceans and the life within them for centuries. But, only recently has the world begun to notice these detrimental effects. From low oxygen levels to ocean oil slicks, entire marine ecosystems are rapidly taking a turn for the worse. In many areas, our actions have even created unlivable ocean conditions, endangering marine life and, therein affecting our own economy and food supply. If we hope to recover from these effects, we must work together to restore the marine ecosystems we’ve so carelessly destroyed. 

Polluted Seas

As humanity’s dependency on plastic continues to grow, so will its effect on ocean habitats. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, for instance, stretches 1.6 million square kilometers and largely consists of plastic objects and small microplastics. Marine animals mistake this floating debris for food, but these plastics are indigestible, filling their stomachs until they starve. Thes plastic particles also spread hazardous chemicals that can climb up the food chain and destroy entire ecosystems. Currently, ocean debris directly affects more than 800 marine species.

Humanity’s demand for oil has also resulted in a more polluted ocean. Oil spills contribute about 12% of all ocean oil, while shipping, drains, dumping and drilling produce the other 88%. New methods of hunting for oil also have a significant impact on marine life. Seismic blasts used to detect new drill sites have decreased the number of zooplankton, which are an essential food and oxygen source for many species like fish and whales. Therefore, increased drilling operations have the potential to affect every level of the aquatic food chain.

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Oceans

What Are the Effects of Offshore Drilling on Marine Life?

October 31, 2019
effects of offshore drilling on marine life

The oil industry has shaped our modern world in countless ways, including by impacting the previously unblemished habitats of wildlife in national parks and protected areas. But much of our oil extraction effort is conducted offshore.

So what are the impacts of this seemingly unstoppable and ethically hollow industry? As you might expect, there are both immediate and long-term effects on our planet’s oceans. However, we don’t know exactly how long the effects of our actions will continue to affect our ocean’s ecosystems.

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Oceans

How Mercury Pollution Affects Our Oceans and Fish

October 17, 2019
mercury in fish

People looking for ways to improve their diet often turn to fish instead of other proteins. It’s lean, lower in calories, and packed full of healthy vitamins, minerals and antioxidants like omega-3. On the other side of the coin, too much fish could potentially be dangerous to your health.

We’ve heard the warning for years — don’t eat too much canned tuna because you’re consuming mercury that can make you sick. How is mercury pollution affecting our oceans and fish, and should we consider removing seafood from our diets?

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Oceans

10 Overfishing Solutions That Could Save Our Oceans

October 4, 2019
overfishing solutions

Overfishing has become a global crisis. One-third of fisheries around the world are operating at unsustainable levels. Over time, this unsustainable fishing will both decrease the amount of wild fish available to fishers and have huge consequences for the environment. If left unchecked, overfishing can lead to disruption of the food chain, harmful algal blooms and even critical dispensation: fish populations so reduced in size they can no longer sustain themselves.

But overfishing isn’t inevitable. Regulations that prevent overfishing and encourage sustainable fishing have been proven to help restore fish and plant populations and heal marine ecosystems. And sustainable fishing may even be good for fishers’ profits, too.

Here are 10 overfishing solutions that could save our oceans and help prevent ecological collapse.

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Oceans

The Most Endangered Marine Animals: Is It Too Late to Save Them?

September 23, 2019
endangered marine animals

During the past century, the extinction of animal species continued to exceed natural rates. There’s no doubt humankind drives the phenomenon. Climate change and the relentless pursuit of nonrenewable resources decimates habitats. Housing developments encroach upon the homes of native species.

The ocean is not safe from the devastation man wreaks. If current consumption continues unchecked, many scientists believe there will be more plastic than fish in the seas by 2050. What’s even more troubling is the species we may lose — and once they’re gone, they’re gone forever. Is it too late to save the most endangered marine animals?

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Oceans

How Does Contaminated Flood Water Affects Our Health?

August 26, 2019
contaminated flood water

A flood is a natural occurrence where water covers once-dry land. It can have a positive impact on an ecosystem, especially one experiencing prolonged drought. Unfortunately for most, it can also have a deadly effect.

Flooding typically happens after heavy rainfall when waterways – like rivers, creeks and ponds – can’t hold the new water. In coastal cities, tropical cyclones, tsunamis and high tide combined with high river levels cause floods.

Natural disasters are worsening with global warming. As temperatures rise, so does the risk of tropical cyclones and intense storms. Experts say a warmer climate could produce fewer storms – but they will be much more destructive.

If you get caught in a flood situation, you can reduce health risks by avoiding the water.

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Oceans

The Causes and Effects of Oceanic Natural Disasters on Our Environment

August 23, 2019
oceanic natural disasters

Natural disasters wreak havoc on the people affected by them. When it comes to oceanic natural disasters, such as tsunamis, there are also substantial implications on the environment. We’ll explore some of them here. Tsunamis are long, high waves typically caused by underwater earthquakes occurring at tectonic plate boundaries. Most happen in areas that have above-average tectonic plate activity.

But, volcanic eruptions and undersea landslides can also trigger tsunamis, as could a meteorite hitting the ocean. Tsunamis reach top speeds of 500 miles per hour. That’s why it’s crucial to use early-warning systems that give people the information they need to seek shelter on higher ground before the disasters hit.

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Oceans

Threats to the Ocean From Poor Water Management

June 27, 2019
threats to the ocean

When you see a puddle on the street, or a flowerpot full of rain, it’s natural to think this water is separate from the ocean. After all, it’s miles from the coastline. The way we treat water that far inland shouldn’t have an effect on a marine ecosystem such a distance away — but it does.

In truth, all of the earth’s water is connected. The water cycle is a series of linked processes turning in an endless loop, from evaporation to precipitation and runoff. A seemingly harmless action may have consequences elsewhere, and large-scale mismanagement of water can result in serious threats to the ocean.

To visualize the idea, consider the path of a stream. The stream will eventually lead into a river, and the river will eventually lead into the sea. If someone pollutes the stream, it has far-reaching implications beyond the stream itself, causing issues as the contaminants travel toward their inevitable destination.

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