Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Contaminating the Circle of Life
The health of the world’s oceans is tied intrinsically to human health. Not only do ocean waters feed global storms, but they also provide a home for thousands of types of sea life. Sea water is becoming contaminated from runoff from rivers and streams that are polluted with pesticides from large agricultural farms. Large amounts of hormones and antibiotic levels have been found in ocean water adjacent to agricultural runoff.
As the water becomes contaminated, it becomes more acidic. As a result, coral reefs are dying. Not only does the life that it supports die, but storms that are generated over the ocean carry acidic rain onto land. The rain pollutes the land and further damages soil with pesticides and other contaminants.
Coral reefs protect coastlines from erosion and other threats. In South Florida, researches have found success with manufactured coral reef nurseries, which recreate reef environments for new coral growth. By creating protected ocean sanctuaries, they have been able to reintroduce coral growth in areas where reefs have died.
The oceans are one of the largest global resources that remain largely unexplored. Over fishing has resulted in dramatic reductions in once-thriving fish populations, including Bluefin Tuna, many species of sharks and other creatures. However, the ocean may yet be one of the best resources to support human health.
We can all promote healthy oceans and global by supporting local small organic farms that do not use pesticides, GMO products or other substances that damage ocean reefs.