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Transcript of Ocean Dumping
Annie, Alexa, Chelsea & Eric
Human Impact on the Environment
How it Started
"There is a giant island of solid garbage floating in the pacific"
"All this plastic is killing animals"
Millions of small and microscopic pieces of plastic, about .4 pieces per cubic meter, covering over roughly 5000 square km of the Pacific
Bank of America
"The Plastisphere is killing the ocean"
"Size of Cuba"
"Size of Texas"
"Twice the size of Texas"
"Size of the Earth"
Some animals are being harmed, others are thriving (Still a problem)
The Plastishpere is an ecosystem out of balance
It was a cheap and convenient way to rid society of food wastes, trash, mining wastes and human wastes.
started in rivers, lakes, and estuaries
wastes from ships went directly into the ocean
Over the past 150 years, all types of wastes have been ocean dumped
Late into the nineteenth century, the US Congress enacted Section 10 of the River and Harbor Act of 1890, prohibiting any obstruction to the navigation of U.S. waters
In the late 1960's the corps enlarged the scope of its review of permit applications to include fish and wildlife, conservation, pollution, esthetics, ecology, and matters of general public interest.
In addition, the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) required the review policy issues according to public interest, as well as environmental impact.
In 1972 the US Congress passed the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act (Ocean Dumping Act or ODA) and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act amendments (Clean water Act or CWA)
Set a global standard for managing environmental restoration and protection, for maintaining the environment within acceptable standards, for prohibiting the disposal of waste materials into the ocean, and regulating the discharge of wastes through pipelines into the ocean
International understanding was the result of the UN conference on the Human Environment in June 1972 & the Inter-Governmental Conference on the Convention of the Dumping of Wastes at Sea in November 1972
Resulted in a treaty called Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter-London Convention (LC-72)
Came into effect in 1975 and currently has 80 member nations
Also, another treaty that addresses the issue of wastes disposed of from vessels, the international Convention for the Preventions of Pollution from Ships, 1973 (MARPOL)
Countries who signed the treaty agreed to enforce bans on dumping oil and noxious liquids into the ocean from ships.
If all the laws and participation, why still so much trash???
1) Prior to laws dumping
2) Tourism related litter on the beach
3) Storm run-off pollution
4) Fishing related water pollution
5) Discharge of garbage and sewage into sea
*It's hard to contain every person on this earth and his/her litter*
not just plastic, much other debris as well, however plastic stays year after year after year
Other items biodegrade after time or sink to the bottom of the ocean and are "forgotten about"
Plastics do not biodegrade, but break down into smaller pieces under the sun known as photo-degradation
Proportion of plastic to surface zooplanton is 6:1!!!!!!!
Is it really
Fish, turtles & other marine creatures often mistake small pieces of plastic debris as food and ingest them.
The animals feel "full" from the plastic bits, but are actually undernourished or starved because plastic offers no nutrition
In most cases, the plastic block the digestive or respiratory systems of the marine creatures and they eventually starve or suffocate to death.
Also, marine creatures may also be entangled in unwanted and unmanned fishing nets, leading to what is know as "ghost fishing"
Many starve from lack of movement
Others die from infections from the wounds caused by the nets
Some caught creatures suffocate due to not being able to surface
More than 1 million sea birds and 100,000 sea mammals and turtles die from the ingestion of plastic or entanglement in discarded fishing nets or debris
Besides choking the marine creatures in the oceans, a large proportion of the plastic debris sink to the bottom of the ocean and smother the ground.
Scientists have found more than a hundred pieces of litter on every square kilometer of oceanic bed within the Pacific Garbage Patch!
"At least 1 billion people on this planet consume fish as their main protein source, while 2.6 billion obtain at least 20% of our animals protein from fish."
Man dumps plastic
Fish eats plastic
Man eats fish
Is it good to eat plastic?
contains toxic additives
These additives include
plasticizers like phthalates (lead to organ damage in animals and reproductive problems in humans)
How does plastic transfer from fish to humans?
The toxic chemicals leech from the plastic debris and they are stuck in the fish that consume them, which may interfere with the fishes reproductive system.
At other times the chemicals accumulate in the bodies of the fish and when eaten the chemicals transfer to humans.
The type of plastic that is ingested by the fish are also highly absorbent of toxic hydrophobic pollutants like PCBs, DDT (pesticides), or PAHS.
When humans eat the fish, these toxic chemicals bio accumulate and biomagnify, bringing even more health problems down the line.
"Plastic being ingested by fish in the North Pacific found in the intermediate depths at a rate of about 12 to 24 thousand tons yearly."
-Scripps Institution of Oceanography
How does the garbage get there?
swept by oceanic currents currents and winds
The rotating flow of water within the gyre draws in garbage from the surrounding waters and prevents the garbage debris from leaving the vortex. At the same time, the surface water currents gradually move the debris toward the low-energy center of the gyre.
5 main gyres in our oceans
Is it too late?
Plastic takes 500-1000 years to degrade. Even if all plastic use stopped today the ocean would still be filled for generations.
Approximately 380 billion plastic bags are used in the US every year. That's more than 1,200 bags per US resident, per year.
The average American will throw away approximately 1855 pounds of plastic per year.
However there is hope!
1) Educating the shipping and fishing industry
2) Imposing penalties for deliberate and intentional disposal of garbage at sea
3) Getting the world community to reduce their use of plastic
4) collect debris that gets washed up onto beaches for proper disposal
Our oceans are being dumped with garbage all over the world and collecting in these garbage patches that are killing our environment and eventually hurting the human race as well.