Water/Wastewater

  • 5 Innovative Ways to Clean Up the Oceans

5 Innovative Ways to Clean Up the Oceans

Oct 19 2018 Read 1204 Times

As the $30 million Ocean Cleanup project started its journey at the in September, we’re going to be taking a closer look at the harm we’re doing to our oceans and the innovative solutions trying to help.

In this post, the first of a 6-part series into ocean pollution prevention, we’re going to take a closer look at why change needs to happen, and the different types of ocean pollution.

Protecting our oceans

With oceans covering over 70% of our planet, we need to be doing more to ensure we keep the valuable natural resource safe. The ocean cleans the air, helps to feed the world and provides a home for millions of plants and creatures. From microscopic algae to the largest animal on earth, the ocean is home to the majority of the world’s life.

No matter how far from the ocean you think you are, all streams, rivers and sewers lead directly to the seas. Any pollution we produce on land, typically, ends up in the oceans, leading to dangerous consequences for the health of our seas. Here are some of the most damaging types of ocean pollution and what we can do to reduce them.

Plastic pollution

Plastic is one of the most common sources of pollution found in the oceans. On average, 100,000 marine animals and 1,000,000 sea birds are killed every year by plastic pollution. Choking on small items, getting caught in carrier bags and ingesting an alarming amount of plastic are just some of the harmful ways that animals are getting hurt and killed in our oceans.

Ocean acidification

We all know and understand the harmful effects of burning fossil fuels. But it’s not just the air that we are damaging. The ocean suffers too. The sea absorbs up to a quarter of all man-made carbon emissions, resulting in changes in the pH balance and leading to acidification. This change in the ocean’s chemistry damages marine ecosystems as well as the dependent coastal economies.

Sound pollution

For many, the ocean seems like a peaceful, relaxing place. But for the wildlife living there, the noise levels can be harmful and even fatal. Marine mammals, such as whales and dolphins, rely on sound communication to find food, mate and navigate.

Around 60,000 commercial tankers and ships appear on the ocean at any given time, creating a ‘smog’ of noise under the water. This can lead to whale becoming stranded, abandoned habitats and even the death of marine invertebrates.

Making a change

So, what’s next with the colossal, life-changing impacts that pollution is having on our oceans? What can we do to help?

Be sure to check out our next post about the impressive Ocean Cleanup project or the article ‘Converting Wastewater into Energy‘ to see how companies can become more efficient in reducing their waste as well as their carbon emissions.

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