There are several categories of water pollutants. The most damaging and most numerous of all are plastics. Plastic can enter the ocean or other waterways in a variety of ways including dumping, littering, and just the carelessness of humans. We do this because we no longer have a use for our bottles, food waste, straws, or even TVs! You would think dumping is illegal since it pollutes the ocean but in fact, it is not at all as long as the person or company that is dumping it is 12 miles offshore.
This plastic does not immediately decompose in nature. This means, the plastic that was thrown into the ocean fifty years ago is still in the ocean but most likely broken down into a microscopic state. Pollution is bad for the environment because not only does it make marine life sick, it can absorb into our bodies —93 percent of Americans age six or older test positive for Bisphenol A (a plastic known to cause hormone imbalances).
(“ Eco Watch”)
Once the plastic is in the ocean, it stays there. It does not disappear. It will break down into a microscopic form. Mass scale plastic removal is currently unfeasible. Therefore microplastics in the ocean will continuously affect the marine life around it. An example of this is that oysters filter in water and the microscopic algae, along with the algae the oyster could also be taking in plastic particles that could be toxic to it and its consumers. This is not good because since there are no ways to remove microscopic plastic completely and the concentration will only get stronger.
Ultimately, marine animals with the highest concentrations will be consumed by humans, placing nearly everyone on Earth at risk of microplastic toxicity.
Yet another source of pollution are chemicals. They are used in all types of agricultural processes. To protect our crops from bugs we spray them with pesticides, and to make them grow bigger we spray them with fertilizers. To ensure the health of livestock, commercial farmers spray insecticides that get kill diseases on the pens. This all sounds great but these chemicals can seep into the ground directly or run off into a river or stream and contaminate not only our water but even our soil. Eventually, these chemicals will make it into our water supply and contaminate it, then it will run off into rivers and eventually the ocean.
The effects of improper disposal of chemical waste in agriculture have led to a significant increase in the nitrogen concentration in the water. When it comes to water, this can produce too much nitrogen eutrophication, which causes the excessive growth of algae and phytoplankton with crippling consequences. Too many algae in the water can produce algal blooms, which spreads toxins known as ‘red tides’. Red tides are responsible for killing seabirds, fish, marine mammals, and can even harm humans. When these harmful blooms die, the bacteria consume all of the oxygen and creates a dead zone and fish cannot live in this area. While chemicals make everyday human life easier and healthier, they can do irreversible damage to the marine environment.