Marine pollution

Most of the pollution to the marine environment comes from the land. Run-off of pollutants and sediments from the terrestrial environment are a major concern. Run-off enters the oceans from small sources, like septic tanks, cars, trucks, and larger sources, such as farms, ranches, and forests.  Ocean vessels, such as pleasure boats, commercial ships and cruise ships are also a major source of pollutants of our oceans.

A major threat to our coastal waters are ship accidents, and especially those involving oil tankers. For instance, the devastating oil spill in Prince William Sound in 1989 resulted in contamination of herring spawning habitats, staging areas, and the fish themselves.  The once healthy Pacific herring population in Prince William Sound have not yet recovered. [See also here].

Grebe in oil

With oil in their feathers birds have no chance to survive an oil spill. Photo: Marine Photobank

Friday, January 24, 2014