Climate change, a continuously controversial topic, is caused by the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere by the burning of fossil fuels. It is no secret that the temperatures have raised over the years, which causes water to heat. Warmer water temperatures cause a loss of sea ice, sea level rise, ocean acidification, and more violent storms. All of these repercussions are harmful to the ocean wildlife, as well as humans. People can help fight climate change by using less energy and walking or biking to work instead of driving.
Marine debris also affects the ocean. Marine debris is litter in the water that kills marine mammals, releases toxins, as well as threatens human health. Aesthetically, trash in the water and along the coastline can decrease tourism and hurt local businesses. Ways that you can help reduce marine debris is by bringing your own reusable shopping bags to the grocery store, picking up trash on the beach, and using a reusable water bottle.
Water pollution is not only extremely dangerous to marine wildlife and humans; it has also caused countless beaches to close due to contamination. Polluted runoff from streets and parking lots makes its way to storm drains, which eventually leads directly back to oceans, lakes, and rivers. As water moves on land it picks up oil, trash, and pesticides from humans lack of conscious environmental decision making. Ways you can help decrease water pollution is take shorter showers, use an automated car wash, rather than washing your vehicle in your driveway, and recycle used motor oil.
The decline of marine life is an imminent threat that the ocean faces each day. Development and littering threaten the creatures of the sea constantly. Unsustainable fishing is a major contributor to the decline of marine life. Due to overfishing, 90% of the world’s large fish, such as tuna and swordfish, have been removed from the waters. One way to assist in reducing the decline of marine life is making smart seafood choices, and researching to find what seafood is in season.
There are countless other threats that the ocean faces, yet these four are major contributors to the decline of our waters. Helping reduce these ocean enemies not only protects our “blue backyard”, it also empowers our lives.