It’s no secret that ocean pollution is a major issue. However, most people don’t understand the full extent of the problem and how their actions can impact it! We’ve gathered 8 terrifying and upsetting facts about our oceans to help demonstrate the pervasiveness of this issue.
1. There is an island twice the size of Texas floating in the Pacific Ocean. Located off the coast of California, it is the largest oceanic garbage site in the world.
2. More than 8 million tons of plastic enter the oceans each year. That’s like emptying a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
3. There is more microplastic in the ocean than there are stars in the Milky Way.
4. Ocean pollution kills more than one million seabirds per year.
5. Populations of large fish such as tuna, cod, swordfish, and marlin have declined by as much as 90% in the past century.
6. Ocean contamination can affect humans too. Eating contaminated seafood can cause serious health problems, from cancer to immune system issues.
7. Approximately every square mile of ocean has more than 45,000 pieces of plastic floating in it.
8. Plastic bottles take approximately 450 years to break down in the ocean. Aluminum cans take at least 80 years, and fishing nets can take over 700 years.
While not everyone can help control illegal fishing or chemical dumping into our oceans, we can all have an impact on ocean conservation! Here are some ways that everyone can do their part to prevent and eliminate as much damage as we can!
Invest in reusable items such as a reusable water bottle, reusable shopping bags, and reusable food containers.
Avoid buying products with excessive packaging.
Practice responsible boating, kayaking, and other recreational activities on the water. Never throw anything overboard, and be aware of marine life in the waters around you.
Use all-natural, biodegradable sunscreen that will not harm coral reefs or marine life.
Share with your friends! Don’t hesitate to talk about ocean conservation with your friends and family. The first step to making an impact is understanding the issue and how you can help!