Environmental Effects Of Marine Pollution

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The impacts of marine pollution are vast and prominent in our planets oceans. Our Earth is a delicate ecosystem, which has been put into extreme stress due to human activities. This includes everything from the more radical- oil spills, waste and industrial dumping- to the minor scale human activities such as garbage and household disposal that become waste runoff into the sea. However, Williams (1996) notes that even though there are both radical and minor cases of pollution, we should view them as equal since everything we do or dispose of, will eventually reach our oceans. The effects of this statement are noticeable when reviewing cases of wildlife and environments that have undergone substantial transformations due to marine pollution.…show more content…
High levels of nitrogen produce toxic algal blooms, which are harmful if ingested by animals or humans. Algae are a main source of nutrients among many marine mammals, and consequently, has been discovered to alter the way of life for certain species who depend on it for survival. Environmental researcher, Houtan (2014), speaks of a newly found disease, Fibropapillomatosis, found in green sea turtles off the coasts of Hawai’i. This disease is primarily known to cause tumors to form around the turtles’ eyes, flippers, and organs as well as being the leading cause of death in the endangered species. Scientists at Duke University, the University of Hawai’i, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that the prevalence of the disease is associated with heavily polluted coastal areas, areas of high human density, agricultural runoff, and/or bio toxin-producing algae. Scientists such as Ross (2012) also have linked excessive nitrogen and decrease in phosphate in the water to affect coral reefs ability to survive with rising water temperatures, making them vulnerable to harmful bleaching. How this happens is that the algae becomes over fertilized by the nitrogen, It does this by over-fertilizing the symbiotic algae on which corals depend, making them grow more quickly than the more limited supply of phosphorus can support Ross (2012). This…show more content…
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are spatial areas with limits or boundaries of the marine environment that are managed for conservation of biodiversity Boersma (1999). Among the commonly stated goals of MPAs are protecting and conserving biodiversity, including threatened species, and allowing for the recovery of species depleted by human activities. Even though MPAs are widely advocated for managing health of marine ecosystems, they still remain controversial in many places. However, that is not to say they do not show substantial benefits in certain marine communities. In the study conducted by Camille et al. (2016), researchers provide findings on how effective MPAs are to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef ecosystems. It was found the MPAs protection from fishing, increase of herbivore grazing, and greater biodiversity, helped slow the recent decline in coral cover and increase the overall health of the coral at a more rapid rate. Controversially, Boersma (1999) examines local and global MPAs on a social, economical, and political scale, stating that “science cannot dictate policy.” This statement proves to true when regarding MPAs effectiveness on a global scale. MPAs can only provide relief to marine ecosystems if they are politically represented with a firm basis of importance and constitute all geographic zones Boersma (1999).

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