How Ocean Pollution Can Affect Us All

Everybody knows pollution in all its forms eventually affects human existence. Water pollution, which eventually goes to the seas and oceans, threaten human life and every other living organism on the planet.

The following important water pollution facts highlight the seriousness of the pollution problem that affects the world’s oceans:

  1. The oceans become a dumping site for 14 billion pounds of garbage, mostly made of plastics, every year.
  2. In 2011, around 2 million gallons of water affected by radioactivity have been dumped to the sea after Japan pumped water into its failing earthquake and tsunami-hit nuclear reactors.
  3. India’s iconic but highly polluted Ganges River is a source of ocean pollution.
  4. 80% of the water pollution in the world is attributed to domestic sources and almost nothing has been done to address this.
  5. US waters are polluted by 1.2 trillion gallons of storm water, industrial waste, and untreated sewage.
  6. Cruise ships contribute 200,000 gallons of sewage to ocean pollution along with 35,000 gallons of oil spill contamination every year.

Human-Caused Pollution

Not many realize how humans contribute to their own destruction by being the primary source of pollution worldwide. While many seek to address such problems as medical negligence as it affects the lives of people who avail of medical services, not many realize that very little effort is exerted to address the pollution in the world’s oceans and other bodies of water.

It can be said that, at least, on the Internet the opportunity to educate people about the dangers of pollution is equal. There are many websites that raise awareness on the issue. If you can find medical malpractice sites like this, presented by a reputable website like Forbes, you can also easily find credible ocean pollution resources online like the ones presented on the UNESCO site and on various official .edu and .gov websites.

How Humans Are Affected by Human Pollution

Ocean pollution’s effect on humans indirectly but in a serious way. It destroys the marine life from which humans derive many benefits. It affects the population of fish that form part of human diet. It can cause harmful algal blooms or red tides that massively annihilates life in the seas and oceans. If the fish that swim on dirty waters happen to survive, they can be contaminated by various pollutants that are passed on to humans.

More than half of the world’s population live near seas and oceans and rely on them for their livelihood or sustenance. Pollution is sure to affect them. The benefits people get from the ocean are not limited to food. There’s an industry that relies on the beauty of the ocean for recreational pursuits. The destruction of corals and exotic fish populations will destroy diving spots that are used for tourism. Dirty seas will diminish the appeal of seaside restaurants, hotels, and resorts. Moreover, the extinction of certain marine species entail an indirect and gradual adverse consequence on human life.

Ocean pollution is not only a bane to marine life. It can affect many other living things on earth, the human population in particular. It’s only logical to do relentlessly and more aggressively do something about it.

The Consequences of Oil

The effects of the 2010 BP oil spill were witnessed by all of us and we all saw what exactly happened. It affected a lot of people in many ways causing more jobs and work needed to clean up the massive amount of oil. It affected people’s health, tourism, marine life and more. The effects are still there and there was no easy fix to it. A lot of people’s lives have been affected and a lot of people will be affected in the future, this includes the 11 casualties that occurred during the crisis. A total of 210 million gallons of oil spilled out which caused a lot of problems. There were a lot of different locations that had to have cleanup crews deployed to cleanup oil residue on beaches. This was in locations such as Louisiana, Florida and more.

It reminds me of when my family experienced severe flooding at our home. Everything was damaged and it was a massive clean-up effort by trained and experienced flood specialists. This is how the oil spill was. They couldn’t just take anyone and try to clean this mess up. They had to take the people that are trained in oil clean-up or it could have been even worse.

The spill caused a number of health consequences and problems. Some were by workers of the cleanup effort and others were by residents living in places that were affected. Scientists estimate that the health crisis would last at least five years. There were problems such as eye, nose and throat irritation, respiratory problems, seizures, vomiting, muscle damage and more. Dispersants were added to the oil but they were said to make the oil more toxic. The spill was home to over 8332 different species of fish, birds, molluscs and more. Long term damage may not be seen for years. Oil affected a lot of animals including birds who lost buoyancy and abilities to regulate body temperature, decreasing populations and an unbalanced food web. This was not only in areas close to the spill but miles out. It was later found that animals fled the areas in search for food and shelter.

The effects hit hard in an economic way costing billions and affected sectors such as drilling, fishing and tourism. It also cost BP billions of dollars not only in costs from the spill and fines but also gas stations reported sales losses due to a backlash against the company. The NOAA had to close over 86,000 square miles of federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico costing $2.5 Billion for the fishing industry. Overall the BP oil spill was a huge mess and controversy that caused a lot of problems for a lot of people. It changed lives and it changed the world. It has caused financial and other problems for a lot of people and companies. The effects are still being seen now and some may still be around for years to come. There will always be the chance of a spill like this. We are moving toward more sustainable energy but there will always be oil and the possibility of another spill. This is the world we live in now. We have to accept it and live with the consequences.

After the Spill – How You Can Help


Numerous studies have found that the oil spill continues to have a huge impact on the wildlife that lives in the Gulf of Mexico. While BP vehemently argues against the findings, it is easy to see that oil still remains on several beaches along the gulf and that the animals living there have changed drastically since the spill. Islands once bursting with life are still devoid of the life that once flourished there. But not only is there very little wildlife that can be found, those islands are quickly eroding due to the oil that remains on its beaches since the trees that used to anchor the sand with their roots are no longer growing as they once were. (more…)

Review of the Oil Spill and Ongoing Court Proceedings for BP


In 2010, it took the government several days to respond to the news of the leak in the oil well. When the initial belief that the well had not been damaged in the explosion proved to be incorrect, the Obama Administration took steps to clean up the mess. Just a few days after the leak, the situation worsened when BP executives reported 1,000 barrels of crude oil leaking into the ocean and disturbing the marine ecology. But the situation was much more dire than anyone knew. BP executives had lied about the 1,000 barrel figure – in fact, American scientists examining the damage estimated that 5,000 barrels were being emptied into the ocean. (more…)

The Buzz Has Died Down but the Effects Remain


Although you might not see many headlines about the BP Oil Spill these days, the ramifications are very real and still affect us today. On April 20, 2010, the Gulf of Mexico was changed forever. The biggest oil spill to date happened when a BP owned oil rig exploded and sank, killing 11 people and causing massive amounts of oil to leak into the gulf. It took 87 days to seal the leak, and although the oil well was declared sealed in September 2010, some people still report leakage from the site of the explosion. In the 3 months that it took for BP to finally seal the well, nearly 5 million barrels, or 200 gallons, of oil were leaked into the ocean. As you can imagine, this had a huge, destructive impact on the wildlife and marine ecology in the immediate and surrounding areas. (more…)