Water pollution is a problem that affectsall living organism. Every living thing on the earth needs water to survive. Whenthe water is polluted, it not only affects the plants and animals, but it harmspeople. That created the Broward County Waterway Cleanup. The oceansare a very important part of our environment.
About 50-80 percent of all lifeon earth is estimated to live in the oceans. The world’s biggestlandfill isn’t on land at all it is in the oceans. The largest problem is most of the trash that has accumulated in the ocean is plastic. It hasbeen estimated that 90% of all the trash is plastic.
The issue with plastic isthat it is not biodegradable, which means it doesn’t break down, so it stays inthe oceans forever. It is unbelievable that 80% of the trash is comingfrom land. One of the main causes of the pollutedmarines is the wastes and toxins that get thrown into the ocean. Records showthat 850 million meters cubed of liquid and solid wastes have been dumped intothe ocean in the past 85 years. Not only does our populationtoss these solid wastes into the water, but the ocean also deals with thedebris from natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, and fires.
Since the late 1960s, impacts by humanity on the environment, particularly thedegradation of air, water, and soil, have received widespread public attentionand levels of funding to perform scientific studies. Many yearsago people would never have thought that the ocean would ever need saving.People would wonder how something so big could ever be affected by their ownactions. There are many ways to begin to clean up the oceans. Now let’s talkabout Broward and waterway clean up. 1,629 people volunteered their time tohelp clean the beaches in Broward County as part of the 32nd AnnualInternational Coastal Cleanup. Broward County Environmental Protection andGrowth Management Department staff worked with local municipalities andcollected 8,057 pounds of trash from 13 cleanup site locations. Items collectedranged from baby toys to biohazardous waste.
An estimated 75,750 pieces oftrash were picked up with the number one trash item being small plastic pieces,over 14,000 pieces collected. This started in 2009 and helped pick up 52pounds of waste just lying on the beaches. Volunteer coordinator Nancy Craigsaid the discarded cigarette butts highlight an important point that one itemmay seem insignificant, but if that attitude takes hold, it can lead to asignificant problem.
“Today our biggest item was cigarette butts; we havepounds of them,” Craig said. “You don’t think of cigarette butts as abig deal, but when you have pounds of them, that’s a lot.” Marine life caneasily be entangled in fishing line, nets, and six-pack rings. Fish, birds andturtles mistake trash like Styrofoam, plastics, and cigarette butts for food,which may eventually lead to starvation. Marine debris weakens coastaleconomies by sapping dollars from the tourism and seafood industries. Anyway, Broward’sCleanup is also part of the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup,the world’s largest annual clearing of trash from coastlines and lakes byvolunteers. Hundreds of thousands of people all over the world help each yearto rid the environment of marine debris and collect detailed information on thetypes and quantities of refuse. The types and quantities of trash collected arerecorded on data cards and forwarded to the Center for Marine Conservation,which compiles the information for all of the cleanups held in the country andaround the world.
This information helps identify the source of the debris andfocus efforts on eliminating or reducing it. A recent marine debris reportreleased by the Ocean Conservancy found that general-source marine debris –trash that comes from both ocean- and land-based activities – increased acrossthe United States by more than five percent each year.