Ocean Action Hub

Land-based sources (such as agricultural run-off, discharge of nutrients and pesticides and untreated sewage including plastics) account for approximately 80% of marine pollution, globally. Marine habitats worldwide are contaminated with man-made debris. Oil spills remain a concern, though actual spills have decreased steadily for several decades.

Excessive nutrients from sewage outfalls and agricultural runoff have contributed to the increasing incidence of low oxygen (hypoxic) areas known as dead zones, where most marine life cannot survive, resulting in the collapse of some ecosystems. There are now close to 500 dead zones with a total global surface area of over 245,000 km², roughly equivalent to that of the United Kingdom. The excess nitrogen can also stimulate the proliferation of seaweeds and microorganisms and cause algal blooms. Such blooms can be harmful (HABs), causing massive fish kills, contaminating seafood with toxins and altering ecosystems.

Litter can accumulate in huge floating garbage patches or wash up on the coasts. Light, resistant plastics float in the Ocean, releasing contaminants as they break down into micro-particles that animals mistake for food. Fish and birds can choke on these particles, get sick as they accumulate toxins in their stomachs, or become entangled in larger debris.

As the world saw in 2010, the Gulf of Mexico deep-water oil spill had a devastating effect on the entire marine ecosystem, as well as the populations that depend on the marine areas for their livelihoods. Smaller oil spills happen every day, due to drilling incidents or leaking motors, negatively impacting birds, marine mammals, algae, fish and shellfish.

SOURCE: UNESCO website

Latest

7 Sep 2018 - They organized a Children’s Clean Ocean Summit at the United Nations in Vienna (titled The Last Whale) so they could decide for themselves what must be done and share their perspectives with the world.

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6 Sep 2018 - The World Bank launched the first in a series of bonds designed to raise awareness about the importance of ocean and water resources.

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31 Aug 2018 - Do these six pain-free things, and you’ll help reduce the impact plastic is having on oceans and other waterways around the world.

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30 Aug 2018 - There often are tiny bits of plastic in the fish and shellfish we eat. Scientists are racing to figure out what that means for our health.

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29 Aug 2018 - The portable Trashpresso is turning trash into building supplies.

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28 Aug 2018 - Consensus has been reached on a strategic plan for managing pollution in the region.

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27 Aug 2018 - Cigarette butts have long been the single most collected item on the world’s beaches, with a total of more than 60 million collected over 32 years.

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24 Aug 2018 - Scientists have cataloged over 30 ways that the sea supports human well-being, including providing a source of nutrition, supplying raw materials and supporting recreational activities.

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23 Aug 2018 - Bashiru Brima makes bags, mats and hats out of plastic refuse, while teaching his community in Sierre Leone to reclaim waste.
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22 Aug 2018 - Did you know that the choices your local grocery store makes can have a global impact on the environment?

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20 Aug 2018 - New research suggests that millions of contact lenses may be ending up in U.S. water supplies each year, contributing to ocean pollution.

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8 Aug 2018 - Denim made from ocean-trash plastic? Recycled fishnets? Meet the wave of the future.

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