Natural Resources & Conservation

How Our Pollution Continues to Punish the Oceans

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Home to millions of creatures. Vacation destination for millions of tourists. Dumping ground for millions of tons of plastic. Our beautiful oceans are one of our Earth’s most precious resources, and yet they are getting more and more cluttered with litter every day, causing the oceanic populations within them to diminish at an alarming rate. Overfishing remains an issue for ocean life, and plastic pollution is bringing the ocean’s plastic content to an all-time high, bringing disastrous consequences for human and marine life alike. 

The saying goes that you don’t truly appreciate what you have until it’s gone, but in this case if we wait that long, we’ll be in hot water…and millions of fish won’t be. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in 30 years there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

And the worst part? We’re not slowing down.

While currently humans are filling oceans with an estimated 8 million tons of plastic every year, that number is expected to rise by 22 percent by 2025, according to a study done by environmental engineer Jenna Jambeck. In fact, in just a decade we are expected to triple the current amount of plastic in the ocean. Although estimates differ, a Future of the Sea report found that in 2015 the amount of plastic in the ocean was about 50 million tons, and by 2025 it is expected to reach 150 million tons.

To ignore this issue is to accept the complete contamination of our precious oceans and the death of millions of its inhabitants.

If you are interested in learning more about our oceans or ways to help conserve them, feel free to check out our EarthxOcean conference in April of 2019 and sign the pledge to Strike out Straws.

Author: Taryn Darter