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Our earth is filled with many beautiful and unique natural treasures. As human beings, we tend to take for granted the breathtaking beauty of nature. We forget that our ecosystems are very delicate and if we destroy it, it might never recover. Our beaches are one of the most popular sites that we enjoy visiting. Beaches are defined as “the sandy, pebbly, or rocky shore of a body of water. ” We use our beaches for recreational activities such as fishing, swimming, sunbathing, walking, playing sports, picnics, and much more. It’s our go to place for certain holidays, vacationing, or just to spend time with family and friends. It’s safe to say that we love the beach. There’s just one big problem, we are destroying it just as we humans seem to do with many wonderful things our Earth has provided us.
Beach pollution is a real thing and it’s not only causing harm to the environment, but to marine life as well. This contamination is destroying beach habitat used by plants and animals. Pollution is defined as “any destructive or potentially destructive material that is introduced into the environment. ” Some of the causes for beach pollution are sewage, plastic, litter/garbage, stormwater runoff, and oil. Sewage in the ocean can be caused by a leak, this is known as Combined Sewer Overflow. This can happen when there has been a big storm causing snow or heavy rainfall to exceed the amount of wastewater in a sewer system or treatment plant. Sewage in our beaches is not only disgusting, but it causes bacteria that can be harmful to us and to marine life. Plastic pollution is one of the worst things for our beaches. From beauty and hygiene products to straws, plastic bags, and bottles, Microplastics sit in the water collecting toxins and being ingested by fish, humans, and birds. Plastic also contains different toxic chemicals that harm the beach ecosystem;this also includes litter/garbage. Littering can cause the waste to be washed off into the ocean causing even more water pollution. Stormwater is polluted water that “flows over land or impervious surfaces like paved streets, parking lots, and building roof-tops, it picks up trash, chemicals, sediment, and other pollutants such as gasoline, motor oil, antifreeze, fertilizers, pesticides and pet waste). ” This water flows to lakes, rivers and oceans causing harm to animals and plants. Lastly, oil in our oceans are caused by offshore drilling, illegal dumping, ships, and aircrafts. Most of the oils in the ocean float causing the most harm to animals that are found on the sea surface or shoreline. All of these causes are affecting our environment causing climate change.
As it stands now, beach pollution keeps happening and it will take a lot of work from everyone to fix it. Beaches are in danger due to climate change with the sea levels rising and it’s affecting our coastal regions and oceans. According to National Geographic, “By the end of the century, chronic flooding will be occurring from Maine to Texas and along parts of the West Coast. It will affect as many as 670 coastal communities. ” Projections made by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s is said that by 2060 there will be a 2-foot sea level rise and by 2100 there will more than 6 feet. If our beaches become inundated because of sea level rising, then that puts everyone living along the coastlines and sea animals at risk. This will inevitably lead to major economically consequences and the places we “love” will no longer be there and that will be our fault. We have to change our habits in order for our beaches to survive. There are a lot of simple ways to help clean our beaches that we can do to make a difference. To begin with, knowing how to recycle properly will help reduce the amount of plastic going in the ocean. It’s a simple Google search if one does not know what needs to be recycled. Also, checking with the local recycling center can help answer some questions one might have. Another way to help our beaches and oceans is by getting involved in beach cleanups. There are many organizations out there dedicated to beach and ocean cleanups. This a great way to help maintain our beaches and promote healthy marine life. Other little changes to help our oceans and beaches can be done by avoiding products that contain microbeads (exfoliants) for example, body washes, toothpaste, and face scrubs. This can be done by avoiding “products containing plastic microbeads by looking for “polythelene” and “polypropylene” on the ingredient labels of your cosmetic products. ” There’s also websites that contain list of products that contain microbeads.
Other ways to get involved is by supporting non-profit organizations that are fighting to reduce and eliminate ocean and beach pollution. A small donation to these organizations can make a big difference. The biggest thing a person can do is be aware of the mess you make. Clean up after yourself when you bring items to the beach, pick up cans or bottles that others leave. Also, staying informed about these issues and spreading the word to friends and family can help change their perspective and become part of the solution. These are just a few issues and solutions that can help maintain our beaches. There are a lot more environmental issues happening on earth, and alot of these issues can be attacked by our public being informed on these issues and what the way forward is. It is to the point to where we need to understand our climate is already changing, we just need push the urgency of shifting our habits and actually care about how we are treating our planet.
Climate change is a real thing and if we don’t do something about it now then it might be too late later on. Everything that we once treasured and loved will disappear before our very eyes. It’s time to stand up and make a difference!
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