Pollution

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

The following article was published in the May-June 2000 issue of E-Magazine: March of 1989 was the first time I laid my eyes on Prince William Sound, Alaska. Our research team, including myself and three other marine ecologists, had arrived a few days after the Exxon...

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Threat and Impact of Marine Debris

The threat and impacts of marine debris have long been ignored. Perhaps it is the perceived vastness of ocean and lack of visibility of marine debris to most people that has allowed society to dismiss the problem as a serious threat. However, recent research...

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Ocean Acidification

Ocean Acidification Bad for Shells and Reefs Rising levels of atmospheric carbon due to fossil fuel emissions have made seawater more acidic. Now, two new studies show that increasing acidification could wreak havoc on marine organisms that build their shells and...

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Ozone Depletion

The 1985 report of the discovery of an "ozone hole" over Antarctica focused attention on the idea that humans can have a significant impact on the global environment. This discovery, along with evidence that ozone is being lost at nearly all latitudes outside the...

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Noise Pollution

Some scientists warn growing levels of human-caused noise in the oceans from military sonar, ships, oil exploration and drilling, offshore construction, motor boats, and jetskis is disrupting and/or killing whales, dolphins, and other marine life. In 2001, 16 whales...

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Marine Debris

Marine debris and litter has become both a significant coastal and open ocean problem. Considerable portions of this debris is made of persistent synthetic materials such as plastics, and is not biodegradable as past product waste has been. Surveys have indicated that...

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Dead Zones

Every summer in the Gulf of Mexico an area, sometimes as large as Massachusetts, becomes void of life due to severely depleted levels of oxygen in the Gulf's water, a state known as hypoxia. This condition kills every oxygen-dependent sea creature within its 8,500...

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Oil Pollution

Although only a small percentage of oil enters the ocean from major oil spills, it is from studies during those events that we understand the extreme toxicity oil has on marine animals. A smaller spill at the wrong time/wrong season and in a sensitive environment may...

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