How Soil Contaminants Endangers Marine Life
My mom used to advocate for organic foods and it is from her that I learnt the importance of eating organic foods in our lives. Organic foods not only enable you to stay fit and shed of some weight, but most importantly it is chemical free and thus less harmful when consumed.
She used to organic gardening and she always insistent on not using any chemicals in her small farm. Instead, she used other conventional ways to fight pests such as crop rotation. By not using chemicals in her farm, it means that the soil in her farm wasn’t contaminated.
Soil is one of the main indicators of an ecosystem, but perhaps known or highly disregarded by humans as part of the ecosystem. Many of us can easily define the salient features of living creatures, water or air (which we consider to be prime indicators of an ecosystem), but soil remains a distant indicator, which is the reason why it is largely ignored.
The ignorance largely favors the accelerated degradation of this irreplaceable resource which is of great importance not only to human life and land animals, but also to marine creatures. Many people fail to decipher the connection between marine animals and soil contamination because they presume that marine animals thrive in waters and hence can’t be affected by soil degradation which is absolutely not true.
As much as agriculture is a primary resource of livelihood, and, as population increases, there has been the need to come up with creative solutions that will see agriculture provide better yields to meet the increasing demands, it’s impractical to contaminate soils as we advance our quest. The extensive use of fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture is usually absorbed in the soils, and when it rains these chemicals are washed from the soils, into rivers and consequently find themselves into large water bodies, thus become a threat to marine life.
Modern agriculture may not be the only contributor of soil pollution but other human activities such as mining, drilling of oil refineries, fuel dumping, and accidental spills of chemical substances can pollute the soil and when it rains these contaminants find their way to the waters bodies.
Effects of Water Pollution on Aquatic Habitats
As we relate soil contamination to water pollution, we also need to look at the direct contamination of water bodies. Actually much of the endangering of marine life has been caused by direct ocean pollution such as:
Disposal of chemical wastes by industries into water bodies
Most of these chemicals are usually toxic and when they come into contact with water they raise the temperatures of the waters and end up killing most aquatic plants that marine animals thrive on thus affecting the food chain. Another devastating effect of disposal of toxic chemicals is the disruption of the reproductive cycle of marine creatures. This means that if marine animals can’t reproduce then their survival is greatly threatened.
Accidental Oil Spills
Oils is less dense than water hence massive oil spill means that a large surface of the oceans will be covered with oil hence little photosynthesis will take place as well as the flow of air will be limited. This can be harmful to marine creatures especially those that depend on aquatic plants for survival. Oil can also cause problems of internal organs such as liver and lungs and end up shortening the lifespan of marine animals.
Disposal of Non-biodegradable Materials
Plastic debris and other non-biodegradable material that find their way into oceans have negative effects in marine life. Most of the time marine animals confuse the plastic material for food and after taking them their death comes along slowly.
Air Pollution and its Effects
Air pollution has been linked to global warming which greatly affects the climate and consequently marine life. Gaseous emissions from industries and fuel burning are key factors in air contamination. As air becomes contaminated, it means that more carbon dioxide is concentrated in the atmosphere and that leads to high temperatures. Moreover, the contamination can cause acid rain when rain mixes with the contaminated air and this is hazardous to marine life.
Managing Pollution is Key to Minimizing the Risk of Marine Vulnerability
The best ways to manage pollution is to clean up the contamination. There are various approaches of cleaning the different pollutants that can be embraced. They all depend on the affected area – water, air or soils. For instance contaminated soils can be aerated; carbon sequestration should be used to tap excess carbon released from gaseous emissions to prevent thermal effects of the atmosphere as a result of air pollution.
Plastic debris and oils spills should be cleaned up from the oceans to prevent damages to the marine ecosystem.
Awareness Activities of the Importance of marine Creatures
There’s is need to educate the public on the need to have a clean environment. Measures should be undertaken by nations to adopt green technologies which reduce gaseous emissions. Also policies should be in place to curb the release of toxic chemicals in the seas, with those found breaking the laws heavily fined and prosecuted.