On June 8, the United Nations will commemorate World Ocean Day 2022. With the theme Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean, it will be held by the United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs. The event will highlight the communities, ideas, and solutions that are collaborating to protect and revive the ocean and all it supports. This is the first hybrid celebration of the annual event, held in person at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and televised live on television.
An Important Initiative
Global warming and climate change have also managed to affect our oceans. We have already endangered the species residing underwater, and now our ill actions are targeting the water bodies as a whole. We tend to forget that around 71% of the earth’s surface is made of water and if we endanger the water bodies, we as well are endangering the future of mankind.
15 Alarming Facts About Ocean Pollution
- Oceans now consist of more than 500 dead zones—which cover similar size to the United Kingdom. These dead zones are extremely non-habitual for marine or plant life to exist.
- Carbon emission is making ocean water more acidic and if we don’t act up now, the surface of the water will be 150% more acidic than what it is now.
- Plastic is one of the biggest threats to marine bodies. It causes 80% of the negative impact on aquatic animals and it is estimated that by 2050, the sea will have more plastic in the ocean than fish.
- China and Indonesia contribute to one-third of the total ocean pollution in the world, making them the biggest contributors.
- Around 1.5 million tons of nitrogen pollution flow into the Gulf of Mexico from the Mississippi River, every year.
- Around one truckload of plastic enters the ocean every single minute.
- Currently, the plastic pollutants in the ocean are enough to circle the earth 400 times.
- There are more than one million sea bird deaths every year due to ocean pollution. And around 100,000 marine animals die every year due to plastic entanglement and ingestion
- One-third of the Atlantic Ocean shellfish reside in negatively impacted habitat, this is not only impacting their health but also the shellfish businesses on the East Coast.
- The chemicals polluting the waters can make way to our homes too. Polluted water can cause serious health issues like reproductive problems, hormonal problems, kidney damage, and nervous system damage.
- Only 12% of the oil in our waters comes from oil spills. Runoff from our roads, rivers, and drainpipes carries three times as much oil out to sea.
- The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is estimated to contain 1.8 trillion pieces of trash and spans an area twice the size of Texas.
- More than 700,000 synthetic microfibers are washed into our waterways with each load of laundry. These synthetic microfibers account for up to 85% of all beach trash.
- Until the 1970s, chemicals and garbage were poured into the oceans on purpose, and it became standard procedure for disposing of everything, including pesticides and radioactive waste, in the hope that it would disintegrate to safe levels.
- Oil spills smother marine life, causing behavioral changes as well as a breakdown in thermal insulation in those that survive.
What can you do?
- If you see litter—whatever it is—pick and dispose of it properly.
- Live by the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” principle. Reduce single-use plastic, reuse plastic packaging, and recycle as much as you can.
- Say no to products with excessive plastic packaging.
- Avoid plastic bags and carry your reusable bags to stores.
- Cut the plastic “six-pack” holder before disposing of it into the ocean. The rings often expand and cause a threat to wildlife.
- You can change your purchasing habits. These little contributions can make huge impacts.
- Reduce your carbon footprint.
- Prefer MSC-certified fish, and eat less.
We hope that these facts about ocean pollution make you concerned and aware since it is high time for us to take all forms of pollution seriously. At this rate, coming generations will not have a viable future. We have to take action and educate those around us. Let’s commemorate World Ocean Day 2022 with the commitment of taking care of oceans every passing day.