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Pollution Daily

Inside this issue: Dog River Water Pollution by Dylan Hooper The Recurrent Pollution in the Dog River Watershed by Adam Abrams Sea Turtles in the Gulf Coast by Addie Hanson Economic Hardships Evolve From Overfishing by Crawford Phillips Manatees by Amelia Watson Water Pollution: Finding Solutions to a Universal Problem by Harrison Citrin Survival of the Cave Shrimp by Emma Fontenot Water Pollution and its Lasting Effects by John Warren Jeffries A Dangerous Game by Ellie Grehan Global Warming Disaster by Mills Smith The Pollution Problem by Payton Robinson Acid Rain: A Threat to our Environment by Reece Stevens Water Pollution in Our Home by Tripp Galloway Water Pollution in Alabama’s Waters by Will Slaton The pollution effects on the sea by the sewage and trash industries by Megan Stegelman


Dog River Water Pollution by Dylan Hooper The earth is made up of 70% water. Dog River does not even consist of a percent of that water. Even though Dog River is very little, it is still a body of water and we should keep it clean. Water pollution will have to be eradicated so that we do not destroy habitats and make lasting effects on the earth. Here locally we are dealing with problems ourselves. Since over half of the city of Mobile and Mobile County lie within the Dog River watershed, all of the rainwater that falls in this area eventually ends up in Dog River (What Is a Watershed?). Therefore all the trash and debris also end up in Dog River. Pollution in Dog River is out of control. If we do not stop this problem now, all residents will lose the use of Dog River. One local example of water pollution that reoccurs is the trash in Dog River. Almost every time there is a storm or excessive rainfall, trash finds its way into the river. Dog River is about seven miles long, and its waters flow into Mobile Bay and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico. Anyone who lives within this watershed is responsible for the pollution of Dog River, not just those residents who live on the river. Over sixty percent of Mobile and forty percent of the county lie within the Dog River watershed (A Dog River Clearwater Revival). The total size of the watershed is ninety square miles (What Is a Watershed?). Because watersheds act like drains, all rain that covers this land will flow into the storm drains and will ultimately drain into the river. Some of the bodies of water which also drain into the Dog River watershed include Michael Blvd. Canal, Rabbit Creek, and Halls Mill Creek (Accumulation of Litter in the Dog River Watershed). The Dog River watershed


encompasses a large urban and residential area including the malls and other gigantic stores, including Wal-Mart and Lowes. In addition to trash from businesses, personal trash and grass get into the drain and clog them up, which can lead to flooding. Therefore, after every major rainfall, trash and other pollutants flow into the storm drains, which are not subject to treatment, and then flow directly into Dog River. Residents along the river see tons of trash floating on top of the river. The problem occurs because storm drains

flow

into Dog River and are not part of the sewage

system

(A Survey of the Dog River Watershed). What

flows

through these storm drains is not subject to water treatment like water from household bathrooms.

The

rainfall flows over all the land in the watershed

and as

it does, it picks up all sorts of pollution, including chemicals, motor oil, animal wastes, and construction debris (What Is a Watershed). Some of the most common pollutants in Dog River include plastic and paper, although other items such as glass, metal, shingles, tires, and Styrofoam are common. Runoff from construction sites is one of the biggest culprits according to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (A Survey of the Dog River Watershed). Not only is the trash unsightly, it is also unsanitary, with higher rates of fecal coliform bacteria. There are also higher nutrient concentrations from runoff from yards and golf courses, leading to an overgrowth of algae, which can threaten the wildlife in the area (A Survey of the Dog River Watershed). Trash can also destroy the necessary chemical balance of the water. When litter pollutes the river, it can prevent the sunlight from reaching bottom dwelling species affecting them negatively. Any changes to the habitat will negatively affect all the other


species. If bottom dwelling fish do not thrive due to the pollution, then the other fish that feed on them will also begin to die. If we want to continue to fish in Dog River, then we must stop the pollution now. The Dog River Community Revival (DRCR) is a grassroots organization which is trying to clean up the pollution which routinely floats down Dog River. The DRCR organization feels that their group and the citizens who live around Dog River must work to solve the problem because they believe that the City of Mobile is not doing its job. The organization argues that Mobile has not created any viable strategies to stop the pollution or remove it once it goes into the river. They also feel that ADEM, The Alabama Department of Environmental Management, has not done its job to monitor and address the situation as directed by the Clean Water Act. The Clean Water Act Law demands that cities reduce any floating garbage as much as possible and even install devices to remove it. The DRCR believes that the best solution is litter traps, especially one called the Bandalong Litter Trap (A Dog River Clearwater Revival). These traps are very expensive, and the DRCR has raised the money to buy several traps to use. However, the city of Mobile continues to refuse to remove the garbage once it is trapped by the device. Other cities and states have employed the use of these traps to help catch floating trash before it gets into the streams and creeks. The residents of Dog River are requesting that the city of Mobile do the same. What can citizens do to help stop the continuous pollution of Dog River? Most importantly, people should not intentionally put anything in the storm drains, such as leaves and lawn clippings; only water should flow through these drains. People should always follow the directions on the packages to insure that they do not overuse fertilizers and pesticides and should


pick up pet wastes in their yards. All residents in the Dog River Watershed should also keep their yards clean; any trash in the yards and dirt in the streets and gutters will ultimately end up in the drains, and they will flow into the streams and into Dog River. Citizens can join community groups such as DRCR and can notify the city council and let them know that we expect the city to help clean up the trash in Dog River. The city council should also provide funds for more traps and collection of trash from the traps. If all the citizens within this expansive watershed stop littering, this problem will eventually clear up. The problem will be solved if the citizens of Mobile keep their yards clean, do not throw any litter into the storm drains, and do not use any harmful chemicals. I plan on doing my share in protecting this beautiful habitat so that I can continue to enjoy the river. Will you do yours?

Works Cited "Accumulation of Litter in the Dog River Watershed." Accumulation of Litter in the Dog River Watershed. Web. 2 Dec. 2012. <http://www.usouthal.edu/geography/fearn/480page/06Thomas/06THomas.htm>. "A Dog River Clearwater Revival." Dog River Clearwater Revival. Web. 2 Dec. 2012. <http://www.dogriver.org/index.html>. "A Survey of the Dog River Watershed." Adem.alabama.gov. Alabama Department of Environmental Management. Web. 2 Dec. 2012. <http://adem.alabama.gov/programs/coastal/watershed/DogRiverWS1995.pdf>. "What Is a Watershed?" Sea Grant Mississippi-Alabama. Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium. Web. <http://www.masgc.org/pdf/masgp/99-011.pdf>.


The Recurrent Pollution in the Dog River Watershed by Adam Abrams A major environmental concern for the waterways in our country is pollution in our nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s watersheds. A watershed is an entire land area which encompasses a river and all if its streams, creeks, ditches, wetlands, and storm drains which ultimately flow into it. Watersheds are like drains; all water that flows over the watershed area will one day end up in the rivers and streams. People do not have to live on the river to have a major effect on the watershed. Anyone who lives within a watershed can negatively affect it by polluting, using chemicals and pesticides, and not keeping their yards clean. Every time it rains, the rainfall washes over yards and streets and collects all the pollution in its path and dumps it into the closest storm drain. Not only do the pollutants come from surface runoff, they can also enter the water when it filters through the soil on the land within the watershed. Once the pollutants enter the rivers, they then flow into the oceans of the world and become the dump for tons of pollution every year. All of this pollution ultimately affects water quality not just in the local lakes and rivers, but in the oceans as well (water.epa.gov). One of the local areas of concern is Dog River which fills up with debris every single time there is a large rainfall or a tropical system. Trash and chemicals can harm fish, dolphins, birds, and any other wildlife living around Dog River. Fish consuming these chemicals can hurt people too. If a fish has poisonous chemical in it and a person cooks it and eats the fish it can lead to extreme sickness and sometimes death. The Alabama Department of Environmental Management identifies litter as one of the biggest problems of pollution in Dog River. One of the reasons that Dog Riverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pollution is so bad is because not only does the pollution affect Dog River, it also flows into Mobile Bay (the


sixth largest watershed in the USA) and finally into the Gulf of Mexico. Litter degrades water quality by obstructing sunlight from bottom dwelling plants and animals. The Dog River watershed covers an extremely large residential and urban area, approximately 90 square miles in size. About 60% of the city of Mobile falls within this watershed. The Dog River watershed includes the malls and several of the other big box stores in the area. Some of the local streams and creeks that flow into this watershed are Alligator Bayou, Rattlesnake Bayou, Rabbit Creek, and Montlimar Creek (dogriver.org). The pollution in Dog River is a prime example of how water pollution can destroy a water habitat. To the many people who live on Dog River or use the river for other recreational hobbies, the constant pollution that occurs every time there are heavy rains is a major issue. The cause of the problem is the pollution that comes from all the local storm drains around the city that flow into the Dog River watershed. All of the pollution that flows through these storm drains is not treated in water purifying centers, so the trash and debris go straight into the creeks and streams leading into the main river. Every time there is a heavy rainfall or some type of tropical system, the rain falls over the land picking up everything and carrying debris with it towards the storm drains (dogriver.org). Some of the things that the residents see floating in Dog River are debris from construction sites, chemicals, animal wastes, motor oils, glass, tires, antifreeze, lawn clippings, and metal objects. Some of the most common trash items are plastics, paper, and dirt and mud


from construction sites and golf courses and parks (water.epa.gov). Below are some pictures that provide you to see the common types of trash that floats around in Dog River. One local environmental group which monitors the water quality in Dog River and advocates ways to solve the problem is the Dog River Community Revival. One of its paramount complaints is that City of Mobile and ADEM have not done enough to help solve the problem. The group feels that the best solution is a trap called the Bandalong Litter Trap. It is designed to trap any of the garbage and debris in the creeks and streams before it ever gets into the river. The trap is extremely expensive, but the use of these traps has been successful in other cities, including Waycross, Georgia. Officials in that city confirm that the litter trap costs $130,000, but it was well worth the money because after each major rainfall, the trap collects major debris. City representatives affirm that up to ten to twelve dumpster loads of trash are collected each year. The Dog River Community Revival Group actively collects money and hosts fundraisers to purchase some of these traps for Dog River. However, the group is putting pressure on the city of Mobile to also purchase some of these traps and then provide the funds and services to pick up the trash once the traps collect it (dogriver.org). There are several things that Mobile residents can do to help with this problem. The most important action people can take is to stop littering and putting refuse in the storm drains that should not go in there. If people would keep their yards clean from debris and pet waste and stop overusing pesticides and other chemicals, then it would help tremendously because none of the pollutants would end up in the storm drains. Another action residents can do is to become politically involved by writing letters and calling their local city council members and demanding that they do something to stop the problem. The Dog River Community Revival group also needs volunteers to put storm drain markers on local storm drains to help educate


people that whatever is put into drains will end up in Dog River. Finally, all local citizens should report water pollution whenever they see it. All of these practices will help alleviate a recurrent problem in Dog River and help to make this beautiful river a place that all local citizens can enjoy for years to come (dogriver.org). Many people in the city of Mobile who do not live on or near Dog River do not feel that river pollution is their problem. While people might hear the news accounts on television or read an article about it in the newspaper, they do not feel obligated to do anything about the problem. People too often take the out of sight, out of mind stance when it comes to environmental problems. However, sixty percent of Mobile falls within the watershed, and all those who work or live in the Mobile area must take a proactive response if we wish to save Dog River for future generations. Every person in the Dog River watershed area who litters, overuses chemicals and fertilizers, does not keep their yards clean, and allows debris to enter storm drains is adding to the problem. We must think about our actions every single day. While a person might not think he is doing anything wrong when he throws a piece of trash out of his car or walks by and sees litter on the ground, he is still responsible for future debris in the river. We all must make a conscious effort to keep our yards and streets clean and not take such a casual attitude about this problem. That small piece of litter that one person throws down or fails to pick up will likely end up floating down Dog River next time there is a huge rainfall or a tropical storm.


Works Cited "Accumulation of Litter in the Dog River Watershed." Accumulation of Litter in the Dog River Watershed. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Jan. 2013 "Our Urban Watershed." Dog River Clearwater Revival. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2013. <http://dogriver.org/our-urban-watershed>.

"Water Pollution and Prevention Control." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2013. <http://water.epa.gov/>.


Sea Turtles in the Gulf Coast by Addie Hanson When you picture sea turtles, what do you see? Most people do not usually think about sea turtles, but when they do, they picture them as any other sea creature that lives freely in the ocean. This, however, is not the case. Sea turtles are different creatures in the first place. They have a much longer lifespan, some being able to live for over 50 years. They swim gracefully along the sea floors and surface to breath. They can travel thousands of miles across the ocean, which makes them an easy target for predators. According to the Office of Protected Resources, â&#x20AC;&#x153;All sea turtles occurring in U.S. waters are listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and are under the joint jurisdiction of NOAA Fisheries and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.â&#x20AC;? Sea turtles are extremely vulnerable to predators, humans, pollution, and climate change, which cause them to be easily threatened and endangered. Around the coast of Florida, the loggerhead sea turtle is the most common turtle to nest. They are, however, exposed to many dangers and threats. Florida consists of the largest number of sea turtle nesting in the United States, and the vacationing population often seems to interfere with the sea turtles that come to nest. Sea turtles are specifically threatened by getting hit by an oncoming vessel when they come up to the surface to breathe. Turtles are not just threatened at the surface; while nets are being dragged across the sea floor, turtles can easily get caught and entangled, slowing the turtles down.


Another threat to sea turtles is pollution. Fishing lines can get tangled with the turtles and slow them down or prevent them from surfacing to breathe, which can make it easier for a predator to catch them. If a turtle ingests debris such as plastic, fishing lines, toxic metals or chemicals, or Styrofoam, it can cause many injuries including death. Debris can cause blockages in the turtles’ digestion and airways. Ingested oil can negatively impact their lungs, digestive tract, salt glands and other organs. Sea turtles are highly sensitive to chemicals like oil. Oil can be washed ashore, reaching sea turtle nests and affecting the eggs by getting in their eyes or lungs when they hatch. Substances like oil can easily be absorbed in their bodies because turtles have permeable skin. After the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, many animals including sea turtles were greatly affected. According to the National Wildlife Association, “During the six months following the start of the Gulf oil disaster, 1,066 sea turtles were collected in the spill area. Of those, more than 450 showed clear signs of oiling” (“Oil Spill Impacts on Sea Turtles”). Nests and hatchlings can also be can be threatened by predators such as raccoons, birds, or even dogs or humans. Raccoons often eat the eggs if they can get to a nest. When the turtles hatch, seagulls sometimes fly over and snatch the hatchlings as they make their way to the ocean. Humans or dogs on a public beach can easily step on or get into a sea turtle nest, intentionally or un-intentionally, and harm the eggs. Predators are not the only danger to turtles, artificial lighting can also harm them. When sea turtles hatch, they naturally follow the moonlight to guide them to the sea. Sometimes, if there are bright hotels, flashlights or


streetlights, the turtles become confused and end up following the wrong lights. This artificial lighting can lead the hatchlings the wrong way and even make it much easier for predators to get them. Wildlife experts usually put caution tape or a sign near a nest which usually keeps the eggs much safer, letting people know not to go near it because sea turtles will usually come back to the exact spot that they were born to lay a nest, people should mark where a previous nest was and protect it so that mothers can come to their spot and lay eggs. If the place they come to nest is occupied or unsafe, they will simply leave and retreat back to sea. Most people do not realize that sea turtles are quite important creatures, and they can easily be helped. Sea turtles eat sea grass, which is just like grass on someone’s lawn; it needs to be trimmed and cut shorter to keep it healthy and growing. The sea turtles eat and “trim” the sea grass. According to the Sea Turtle Conservancy, “Sea grass beds are important because they provide breeding and developmental grounds for many species of fish, shellfish and crustaceans. Without sea grass beds, many marine species humans harvest would be lost, as would the lower levels of the food chain. The reactions could result in many more marine species being lost and eventually impacting humans. So if sea turtles go extinct, there would be a serious decline in sea grass beds and a decline in all the other species dependent upon the grass beds for survival” (Why Care About Sea Turtles?). There are many ways to help sea turtles, such as getting rid of offshore drilling, getting rid of litter, and protecting their nesting areas. Everyone can speak out against offshore drilling; some people are trying to ban offshore drilling to prevent risk of another oil spill and pollution. The dangers to sea turtle nests and hatchlings can be prevented at some beaches that allow volunteers to clean up and help the turtles and watch the nests hatch. If people stop littering


on the beaches and in the water, it would help the sea turtles by preventing them from choking on debris or getting caught in fishing nets. If a nest hatches at night, volunteers sometimes use flashlights to guide the turtles to the sea. These creatures are precious and we need to do everything we can to keep them alive and safe.

Works Cited "Oil Spill Impacts on Sea Turtles." - National Wildlife Federation. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2012. "Sea Turtles - Office of Protected Resources - NOAA Fisheries." Sea Turtles - Office of Protected Resources - NOAA Fisheries. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2012. Why Care About Sea Turtles? Sea Turtle Conservancy, n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2012.


Economic Hardships Evolve From Overfishing by Crawford Phillips The Gulf of Mexico is a magnificent habitat yielding millions of fish in its depths. It is the ninth largest body of water in the world and creates millions of dollars of revenue every year along the Gulf Coast. Many fish, such as the red snapper, are being over fished. Overfishing is when people catch fish faster than the fish can reproduce. Fishing is a vital part of the economy along the Gulf Coast. Commercial fishermen make a living off of fishing; many restaurants serve fish; and fish is a common staple among many families. Since the 1980â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, red snapper have been overfished, resulting in the plummeting of the population and strict regulations being placed on the fish (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Overfishing red snapper is harmful to the fishesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; population because fewer fish are able to reproduce and create a functioning habitat. The Gulf Coast economy is also hurt because of the regulations that are being put on snapper, which creates less income for the commercial fishermen who survive on the snapper business.

One reason why red snapper are overfished is the ease at which they can be caught. Someone does not have to be an expert fisherman to be able to catch red snapper. Red snapper are primarily caught offshore, but there is little skill in catching them. Simply bait a hook and drop it to the bottom of an oil rig or any large amount of rubble on the seafloor and you are bound to hook one. Since it is so easy to catch and is one of the better tasting fish, people love to go out and catch red snapper. The popularity of red snapper


has led to overfishing and a severe drop in population. Many regulations have been placed on red snapper because of this. Species face the possibility of extinction with overfishing, and their habitats can be severely harmed. Now commercial fishermen have a shorter fishing season and are allowed to catch a smaller amount of fish because of the overfishing that has happened to red snapper. Studies show that because red snapper have been overfished for years it could take 35 years until the population returns to normal (Binns). The ease that red snapper can be caught is harmful to red snapper population and hurts the people who fish for a living because of the regulations that have occurred.

The regulations that are placed on red snapper because of over fishing are extremely harsh. In Alabama, the season is now only 40 days, and each person in the boat is only allowed to keep two red snapper. These strict regulations cause many people to illegally catch red snapper in nets or catch more than the limit. Ignorance of the regulations can harm the population even more than the overfishing. When fishermen ignore the regulations, the population of red snapper is put into jeopardy and can quickly diminish. Red snapper can possibly disappear from a certain area because of overfishing, and other fish and their habitats could possibly be affected from the disappearance. The overfishing of red snapper leads to strict regulations that create a steep drop in the population of red snapper which can be harmful to their habitat.


Commercial fishermen who rely on red snapper fishing as their business are harmed the most from overfishing. The regulations that are put on red snapper create a shorter season to fish and less snapper to catch. Captain James Wright, a local charter fisherman from Mobile said, “You can’t make a living in forty days” (Bland). Charter fishermen make their living off of fishing trips; people who pay them to take the novice fishermen to spots to catch fish. If the snapper season is only open for forty days, and only two snapper can be caught per person, these charter fishermen have a hard time making ends meet in forty days to support their families for the rest of the year. Studies by Ecotrust showed that the Gulf Coast lost $33 million between 2005 and 2009 because people were taking fewer trips for red snapper. Most of the money lost came from hotels, restaurants, and charter boat trips (Cooper). The regulations that are put on red snapper will benefit commercial fishermen in the long run, but as of now many fishermen are hurt financially because of the overfishing. Studies have shown that less people come down to the Gulf Coast for fishing trips, but it is not just the fishermen who are hurt by the tourists’ absence. Restaurants, hotels, and other businesses are hurt from the disappearance of tourists looking for snapper fishing along the Gulf Coast (Tresaugue). Many cities are impacted from the regulations on red snapper and their economies are hurt. With less tourists coming to fish, commercial fishermen, restaurants, hotels, and other businesses are making less money because of the overfishing of red snapper.

Red snapper overfishing has caused many problems to the fishes’ population, many local fishermen, and local businesses


and restaurants along the Gulf Coast. For thirty years red snapper have been overfished, and strict regulations have been placed on them to protect their population. These regulations are not enough however. Fishermen need to respect the laws placed by the state to conserve this species because without red snapper millions of peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lives would be affected. Many people do not realize the importance red snapper have in the Gulf Coast community. Many families rely on red snapper to survive, and if they are overfished towards extinction, these families would suffer. We must stop overfishing to help preserve the red snapper population because of their importance to our Gulf Coast economy. Even though populations are increasing, they are not where scientists think they should be (Salamone). The red snapper population is still in danger, and we can stop it by enforcing the laws that the government has placed on fishing for red snapper to help preserve a vital piece in millions of peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lives along the Gulf Coast.

Works Cited Binns, Holly. "Given Enough Time, Overfished Red Snapper Can Rebound." Overfished Red Snapper Can Rebound. N.p., 19 Mar. 2012. Web. 07 Dec. 2012. <http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20090902/ARCHIVES/309029943>. Bland, Thyrie. "Study Says Overfishing Is Causing Millions in Losses." Press-Register. N.p., 9 Sept. 2012. Web. 07 Dec. 2012. <http://blog.al.com/live/2012/09/study_says_overfishing_is_caus.html>. Cooper, Louis. "Overfishing Has Cost Millions." USATODAY.COM. N.p., 5 Sept. 2012. Web. 07 Dec. 2012. <http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-09-05/studyoverfishing/57603756/1>.


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper." Home :: Southeast Regional Office. N.p., Mar. 2010. Web. 07 Dec. 2012. <http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/>. Salamone, Debbie. "Conserving Fish in the Gulf of Mexico." Pew Environment Group. N.p., 11 May 2011. Web. 07 Dec. 2012. <http://www.pewenvironment.org/news-room/factsheets/conserving-fish-in-the-gulf-of-mexico-8589942096>. Tresaugue, Matthew. "Overfishing Has Hurt the Gulf's Economy." Houston Chronicle. N.p., 6 Sept. 2012. Web. 07 Dec. 2012. <http://www.chron.com/news/houstontexas/article/Overfishing-has-hurt-the-Gulf-s-economy-report-3838577.php>.


Manatees by Amelia Watson It is estimated that there are less than 3,000 manatees remaining in Florida (“Animal Bytes”). The Florida manatee is an incredibly interesting mammal. They are grey in color and look like large boulders that slowly move through shallow water. They are also in grave danger. Many factors have contributed to their declining population, but human impact is the largest cause of the high mortality rate of this unique creature. Since humans cause the largest number of deaths, humans should be responsible for their protection in the future. The most common cause of manatee deaths is motor boat accidents. Because they swim in such shallow water, the blades and propellers of the boats can cut them, often killing, but always injuring the poor creatures. Also, due to the fact that they swim in shallow water, manatees have adapted and only hear high frequency sounds, and the sounds motors make are not included in their range (“West Indian Manatee: Species Profile”). By the time the boat gets close enough for the manatee to hear it, it is impossible for it to escape danger. Since boats cause the most deaths, people should pay close attention to their surroundings when they are in water that could be occupied by manatees. Most areas that are commonly populated with manatees have signs that warn people to be slow and pay close attention to where and how fast they are driving to help protect them from danger. If people took more precaution while on the water, the amount of manatee fatalities could be greatly reduced.

Another cause of manatee deaths is water pollution. Different types of oils, garbage, and harmful chemicals pollute the waters that they


swim in and affect their health. A manatee might eat something poisonous or swim in water contaminated with oil. When oil gets in a manatee’s system, it causes them to become sick or even die (“Manatees”). Not only oil can be harmful to manatees, but run-off from herbicides and fertilizers can poison their food supply along the waterways (“The Insite”). Lastly, when people litter, the trash can end up in the water. Manatees can swallow the trash or get caught in it and die. Pollution is not the only factor that causes the manatees to contract diseases. Manatees require rather warm water. During extremely cold weather, manatees can become ill and die (“Animal Bytes”). Flood gates also contribute to their fatality rate. Sometimes a manatee may get stuck under a flood gate. If the gate is going down, the manatee can be pushed so far down in the water to the point where it cannot breathe and it will drown. It could also be squished by the gate. Some gates have propellers that can cut a manatee and cause it to die (“Manatees”). Humans in general also cause problems for these already troubled creatures. Human development along the water can destroy the food sources of the manatees. They eat sea grasses along the edge of shallow waters, so when people build structures or houses along these waterways, their food supply is damaged. Not only do they destroy their food sources, but humans also harass manatees. Since they swim in shallow waters, it is often easy for humans to spot them and, although it is illegal, pursue and pester them (“The Insite”). Seeing that there are so many ways for manatees to become ill, injured, or even killed, actions have been taken to prevent some of the deaths. The Florida Manatee is protected


under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Both of these make it illegal to hunt, kill, or capture the manatees. Heavy fines or even imprisonment may be imposed on those who take part in such actions. They are also protected under the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act of 1978. (“Manatee Facts”). Individuals can also contribute by donating or “adopting” a manatee through the Save the Manatee Club. This is a non-profit organization co-founded by Mobile’s own singer/songwriter, Jimmy Buffet, and former governor of Florida, Bob Graham. The program helps to increase awareness about manatees, sponsor manatee research, rescue, and help with their rehabilitation. These efforts help in stabilizing the manatee population (“Save the Manatee Club”). Although the population of the Florida manatee is dwindling, efforts are being made to help keep the population constant. Over time, the number of manatees in Florida’s waters should eventually increase to a healthy number due to human actions and precautions. With human help, the manatees could one day be considered an unendangered species and live on for generations to come.

Works Cited "ANIMAL BYTES - West Indian Manatee." ANIMAL BYTES - West Indian Manatee. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2012. <http://www.seaworld.org/animal-info/animalbytes/animalia/eumetazoa/coelomates/deuterostomes/chordata/craniata/mammalia/sirenia/w est-indian-manatee.htm>.


"The Insite - Endangered Species: Manatee." The Insite - Endangered Species: Manatee. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2012. <http://www.theinsite.org/earth/earth_es_manatee.html>. "Manatee Facts." Manatee Facts. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2012. <http://www.savethemanatee.org/manfcts.htm>. "Manatees." ThinkQuest. Oracle Foundation, n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2012. <http://library.thinkquest.org/CR0215471/manatees.htm>. "Save the Manatee Club." Save the Manatee Club. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2012. "West Indian Manatee: Species Profile." National Parks Service. National Parks Service, 22 Nov. 2012. Web. 02 Dec. 2012. <http://www.nps.gov/ever/naturescience/manateepage.htm>.


Water Pollution: Finding Solutions to a Universal Problem by Harrison Citrin A long time ago, water was clean and plentiful for all creatures to prosper. However, over time, humans have polluted and destroyed water sources, thereby killing several or all organisms living near it. All animals rely on water, and if we do not stop annihilating our supply of clean water, there will be no barrier preventing extinction of several of the most fascinating creatures on Earth. According to Lenntech, “[w]ater pollution is any chemical, physical, or biological change in the quality of water that has a harmful effect on any living thing that drinks or uses or lives in it.” Various causes of water pollution include factory run-off, sewage plants, radioactivity, human excrement, and

garbage. Several factories use

freshwater sources such as

rivers and lakes to dispose of

their waste heat. The resulting

hot water often times results

in thermal pollution. As a

result, “[t]hermal pollution

can have a disastrous effect on

life in an aquatic ecosystem

as temperature increases decrease the amount of oxygen in the water, thereby reducing the number of animals that can survive there” (“Water Pollution”). Water can also become contaminated from abandoned hazardous waste sites that have not been cared for in a long time. If the hazardous waste is not disposed of properly, it can seep into the groundwater and therefore cause pollution. Lenntech argues that “[w]ater-soluble radioactive compounds can cause cancer, birth defects, and genetic damage and are thus very dangerous to humans and animals alike.”


Human excrement is one of the major causes of river pollution. Specifically, “it saturates the water and stops ecosystems functioning normally and… it puts pathogenic microorganisms into the water” (“Freshwater Pollution”). Garbage is also a large contributor to water pollution. Marine organisms can mistake it for food and eat it. As a result, “[h]igh concentrations of plastic material have been found blocking the breathing passages and stomachs of many marine species” (“Marine Problems: Pollution”). Thousands of marine organisms have been found to have digested plastic, causing these organisms to be poisoned and, worse, die. There are several solutions to this major problem, and all of them must be addressed if we want to have any hope of cleaning up our lakes and rivers. On the local level, we can help clean our water sources, “if we take care to recycle materials whose production creates pollution” (Rubin). For instance, recycling containers of heavily packaged foods will prevent the polluting dyes inside of them from seeping into the groundwater from a landfill. We can also prevent littering by throwing away our trash properly and picking up trash while walking by it. We can help farmers to be more mindful of the pesticides they use and make sure that it does not run off into rivers or streams. Also, technologies have been created that can remove contaminants from the water, such as air stripping. According to Pollution Issues, “[a]ir stripping involves pumping out the contaminated water, then heating it to evaporate the contaminant. The cleaned water is reinjected into the ground. Pumping out the contaminated water and absorbing the pollutant on activated charcoal can remove less volatile compounds.”


In addition, protecting watersheds is extremely effective because it reduces pollution while also cutting the cost of drinking water treatment. A primary way of protecting watersheds is blocking development on the land. Prevention of developments such as new neighborhoods or buildings will help to avoid ground water pollution. Fines could be installed for those who litter or dump their wastes in the area. While solutions to this major problem have been discovered, we still face several major problems in water pollution. Several people still do not recycle. They litter on the side of the road, which runs off into rivers and streams. Factories still do not properly dispose of their wastes and dump them in lakes. We must solve this dilemma if we want to continue to have fresh water and a healthy balance of marine organisms. If we work together to provide these various solutions to water pollution, we may yet be able to save our water. Works Cited "Freshwater Pollution." Freshwater Pollution. GoodPlanet, 04 Mar. 2009. Web. 03 Jan. 2013. "Marine Problems: Pollution." WWF. WWF Global, n.d. Web. 03 Jan. 2013. Rubin, Ken. "Reply to ASK-AN-EARTH-SCIENTIST." Sources of Water Pollution. G&G Web Staff, n.d. Web. 04 Jan. 2013. "Water Pollution FAQ Frequently Asked Questions." Water Pollution FAQ. Lenntech, n.d. Web.


Survival of the Cave Shrimp by Emma Fontenot Cave shrimp are extremely tiny animals that are not heard about often. I had never heard of them until I researched about local endangered species. Their size and color make them unnoticeable to the human eye. Many people around the world today do not care about our water and the animals that live in it. Even the smallest little creatures matter, considering they are one of Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s many creations. Cave shrimp are a prime example of an un-popular endangered species that needs care as well. Cave shrimp have been listed as endangered species by the United States government since 1985. These sea animals live in pools in caves and cannot live without water. They are threatened by the contaminated ground water that drips into the caves. Cave shrimp are only found in Alabama, specifically in Shelta and Bobcat caves in Madison County. They feed on detritus and plant matter that washes in to the caves. Because they are so small, their likeliness of reproduction is low, and they are hard to see. They are nearly transparent. Researchers believe they might have survived for over a thousand years underground because of their coloring. (Alabama Cave Shrimp) Although Cave Shrimp are hard to find, they are mainly found during the summer and fall months. The observers think it is because of shallow water levels. None of the shrimp get isolated. In the shallow waters, they all can stay together because they can see each other. To


protect the shrimp, the United States Fish and Wildlife service under the Endangered Species Act are continuing to monitor the water in the cave. Statistics show that there is more contamination from the runoff in the Bobcat cave than Shelta. They are monitoring the level of the water as well to be able to observe the shrimp easier. By monitoring the water level, scientists can keep a steady population count. Shallow waters will make it easier to observe the shrimp. Chloride, nitrate, and trace metals have been found as dissolved solids in the cave pools. Scientist suspect that the pollution is from a nearby ore deposit (Monitoring of Cave Shrimp and Tuscumbia Darters). The United States Fish and Wildlife service try to prevent as much runoff as they can by monitoring the caves. The observers are giving daily reports about improvements and problems in the caves. Protecting our water will protect our shrimp. Contaminated water is serious when it begins to affect the lives of animals around the world. Everyone can help by not littering and recycling. With the help of the United States Fish and Wildlife service and everyone else, endangered species can be helped and brought to safe living conditions.

Works Cited "Alabama Cave Shrimp." Alabama Cave Shrimp. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2012. "Alabama Cave Shrimp (Palaemonias Alabamae)." Alabama Cave Shrimp Videos, Photos and Facts. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2012.


"Monitoring of Cave Shrimp and Tuscumbia Darters." Monitoring of Cave Shrimp and Tuscumbia Darters. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2012. N.p., n.d. Web. "Common Prawn (Palaemon Serratus)." Common Prawn Videos, Photos and Facts. Wildscreen, n.d. Web. 04 Jan. 2013. "Alabama Cave Shrimp." Alabama Cave Shrimp. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Jan. 2013. "Common Prawn (Palaemon Serratus)." Common Prawn Videos, Photos and Facts. Wildscreen, n.d. Web. 04 Jan. 2013. "Water Pollution: Freshwater." Water Pollution: Freshwater. Pollution Issues, n.d. Web. 04 Jan. 2013. "Water Pollution." Water Pollution. MBGnet, 2006. Web. 03 Jan. 2013.


Water Pollution and its Lasting Effects by John Warren Jeffries Water Pollution is one of the most extreme environmental problems we have today. More than 3.4 million people die each year from polluted and unsanitary water. Water pollution does not only affect people and water, but it also affects species that live in the water. Species that live in polluted waters are becoming extinct. With so many people littering the water, it is virtually impossible to prevent; however trash, nets, and oil are three main things that are polluting earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s waters today and could be prevented. The amount of water on planet earth is immense. When people think of it that way, they will act as if the water is a trash can. People throw trash in the water every day thinking it just disappears and nothing will happen, but they are wrong. Of the 200 billion pounds of plastic created each year, 10% of it ends up in the oceans ("Why Is the World's Biggest Landfill in the Pacific Ocean?"). Fish sometimes mistake the trash for food and once they eat it, eventually it kills them. The most common way trash kills species in the oceans is when they get trapped or stuck in the trash. People donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think about how trash could wipe out a species and harm the water so they think the vast oceans are giant trashcans. Littering is a serious way in which our food source is impacted. Tuna and shrimp are highly demanded seafood in the world. People around the world are always eating and wanting either tuna or shrimp. Since it is in high demand, the men and women who catch them use huge nets. Fishermen place these nets in the ocean and trap hundreds at a time, making it more


efficient than using a fishing pole. The nets do not always stay in one place, however, causing the fisherman to lose them and leave behind hundreds of trapped tuna. Overtime the tuna die, and the net rots and sinks to the ocean floor, trapping anything in its path. Shrimp nets are harmful to the ocean in a very similar way but they can trap many more shrimp than a tuna net can trap tuna. Again, these nets donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t always work. Fishing nets are extremely harmful, and today these nets are in the water killing oceanic species. Trash and nets are thrown in the water by humans, but oil most of the time comes from the earth, making it the biggest water pollutant in the world. When oil gets in the water, it is a poison to everything that lives in the water such as birds, fish, and even humans. On the 20th day of April in 2010, the Deepwater Horizon BP oil rig exploded. The explosion killed 11 people and caused the biggest oil spill in U.S. history. When workers finally stopped the oil from coming out of the ground, five million barrels of oil had already spilled. More than 8,000 birds and sea turtles were found dead or injured. The spill did not only affect sea creatures, but it also affected the gulf coast shorelines. Louisianaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s marshes were affected the most by the oil. Since the marshes were being destroyed, the erosion rates on the coasts of Louisiana doubled. The oil killed the roots of the marsh which caused the sediment around it to erode. Two years later after the oil spill, seven species have been endangered.


Each and every day Earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bodies of water are being polluted in many different ways. Over time there will be lasting effects, but right now people do not think about them. People need to start thinking about what will happen if they throw that piece of trash in the water or on land which will eventually make it to water. If people think before they litter in the water, the water around everyone would be much cleaner. Fish and other species would have a cleaner place to live, and humans would have cleaner drinking water. Earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s waters are extremely polluted now and people need to act and act quickly to make Earth a cleaner place.

Works Cited Association, Press. "BP Oil Spill Seriously Harmed Deep-sea Corals, Scientists Warn." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 26 Mar. 2012. Web. 07 Dec. 2012. "BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Exacerbated Existing Environmental Problems in Louisiana Marshes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 June 2012. Web. 07 Dec. 2012. Fahrenthold, David A. "Scientists Watch for Environmental Effects of Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 01 May 2010. Web. 07 Dec. 2012. Kinver, Mark. "BP Oil Spill: The Environmental Impact One Year on." BBC News. BBC, 20 Apr. 2011. Web. 07 Dec. 2012. "Why Is the World's Biggest Landfill in the Pacific Ocean?" HowStuffWorks. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2012.


A Dangerous Game by Ellie Grehan Whales have become part of our culture as cute, playful animals. They make funny noises and look a little bit awkward. With such an image stamped in our brains, it’s hard to think that these creatures may not be around for much longer. Eleven known species of whales are in danger of becoming extinct. But why are so many of these whales on the verge of extinction? The main cause for this danger is whaling. What is whaling? “Whaling is the hunting of whales primarily for meat and oil” (Merriam- Webster). Because whaling has become so popular in many countries, several species of whales are on the verge of becoming extinct forever. According to Environmental Facts, “Whale hunting has been around since 2,200 B.C. The Stone Age people hunted slower moving whales as their main food source”. It wasn’t until the seventeenth century that the whale industry skyrocketed. Whale products were in high demand. Specifically, the demand for whale bone and oil increased sufficiently. As technology increased, more whales were killed and some, like the blue whale, decreased in population drastically. In 1864, the harpoon gun was invented and changed the way people hunted whales. It made it easier to kill the faster whales and also caused the decline of many species of whales. The blue whales became subject to this deadly weapon. By the 1950’s, the blue whale had almost disappeared. Whalers turned to hunt smaller whales, in order to make sure the species was still able to repopulate. Modern day whalers usually hunt whales for their meat and


sometimes their bone in order to make “whale products such as: animal feed, fertilizers, perfume, soap, shampoo, gelatin and margarine” ("Endangered Species: Whale."). The process of hunting whales is far from a pleasant sight. Once the whaling vessel spots the whale, a deckhand on the front of the ship fires the harpoon gun. The gun is usually on the front of the bow so that it can shoot from the widest range possible. The harpoon usually has a small grenade attached to it so when it hits the whale, the grenade blows up the whale from the inside. The shot does not usually kill the whale instantaneously, making it suffer for up to four hours. The whale is dragged to the back of the ship and pulled up a slipway onto the deck. The whale is then butchered right on the deck of the ship. The whalers usually dispose of the blood and unused organs by dumping it all back into the ocean. This process pollutes the water and is also extremely unsanitary. The whale meat is usually shipped off and packaged for processing. Some whalers still use whale bone for products and testing. The whole process is gruesome and gut-wrenching. So what now? Now we know how inhumane the process of whaling is and how popular whaling is around the world. If we don’t act soon, whales could easily become extinct right before our eyes. Some ways to get involved are joining an organization like the International Whaling Commission (IWC). The IWC is a whale conservation organization that spreads awareness about the importance of protecting whales. According to the IWC, “They have


established a whale sanctuary in the Indian Ocean, prohibited the use of grenades in harpoons to kill whales for commercial purposes, and also allows countries to issue special permits authorizing the taking of whales for scientific researchâ&#x20AC;?. There are also other organizations that allow you to get involved locally with other people interested in helping. It is extremely important that we are aware of this major worldwide issue. If we do not act as soon as possible and put an end to the killing, then the whales we all know and love could possibly disappear forever. Works Cited "Endangered Species: Whale." UN News Center. UN, n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2012. "Welcome to the IWC." International Whaling Commission. The International Whaling Commission, 2012. Web. 10 Dec. 2012. "Whales - Saving the Whales." :: Environmental Facts. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2012. "WhalingAbout Our Definitions: All Forms of a Word (noun, Verb, Etc.) Are Now Displayed on One Page." Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, 2012. Web. 10 Dec. 2012.


Global Warming Disaster by Mills Smith Global warming is a serious threat to the world. It has many negative effects on the earth that could cause the extinction of animals and plants, kill humans through cancers and other diseases, and change weather patterns drastically. It is also causing the rising sea levels across the world causing the world’s sea level to rise about eight inches in the past century and is going up about 35 millimeters per year. The main source for global warming is car emissions. Car emissions are the leading cause for global warming and make up 77% of the carbon dioxide that causes global warming ("The Ocean"). The gases released in car emissions are extremely dangerous to the environment. The carbon dioxide released cause a “greenhouse effect”. The greenhouse effect is what happens when the gases released into the atmosphere trap the sun’s rays inside the earth and cause temperatures to rise, like a greenhouse. The heat caused by the greenhouse effect can have many negative effects on the environment, people’s health, and the weather. Even though cars are not the only thing causing global warming, they are the leading cause for it (“Green Living”). One of the main concerns of global warming is the health issues it causes. The increasing summertime temperatures not only increase the risk of a heat stroke, but also can indirectly harm people. The pollutants can mix in with rain and then the soil. The polluted rainfall causes farms, that grow our food and raise animals that we eat, to become polluted and could give people serious diseases, like cancer. Acid rain, which is caused by global warming pollutants, can pollute lakes


that are used by cities for their water supply. Also, bacteria will flourish in a warmer environment and will spread more rapidly. Serious illnesses could easily spread from city to city in the warmer environments because the warm weather acts like an incubator and a catalyst for bacteria growth (“How Does Car Pollution”). Global warming also could have a local effect. For example, with warmer water in the Gulf of Mexico, hurricanes become much more frequent. Also, with more water in the Gulf from the rising sea levels the hurricanes would become much more powerful. Cities, like Mobile, Gulfport, and New Orleans would flood and many people would be left homeless and stranded (“Sandy Stirs Climate”). Rising temperatures affect the weather patterns also. The rising temperature can cause areas that receive a good amount of rainfall to absorb too much rain so that areas with not enough rainfall get even less. Also the increased temperature of the ocean has had recent affects. Scientists believe that global warming has already lead to serious changes. Scientists believe that Hurricane Sandy may have been caused by the rising sea levels in New York (up about a foot in the last century) and the rising water temperature (up about 2 degrees on average). They believe that these factors will lead to more and more hurricanes in the Northeast and other natural disasters worldwide that would normally not occur in certain areas. ("Sandy Stirs Climate”). Even though many people are unaware, there are people who are dedicated to stop global warming. One way that people can help stop it is by walking places that are close by instead of taking a car. Also people can ride bikes more to school or when they are going to someone’s house. To reduce


emissions people can buy fuel efficient cars instead of gas guzzling SUVs. If people started local, it could have a worldwide difference in the long run in preventing global warming (â&#x20AC;&#x153;Green Livingâ&#x20AC;?). Global warming is a serious issue, and if nothing is done, we will all suffer. As more and more people become aware, more has been done to prevent global warming, but it is still a serious problem. Rising sea levels, rising temperatures, and rising health are side effects of global warming and the world is suffering. Works Cited "How Does Car Pollution Affect the Environment & Ozone Layer?" Green Living on National Geographic. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Dec. 2012. "The Ocean." National Geographic. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Dec. 2012. "Sandy Stirs Climate Change Debate." The Weather Channel. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2012. Walls-Thumma, Dawn. "Green Living." Greenliving.nationalgeographic.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Jan. 2013.


The Pollution Problem by Payton Robinson Pollution is a very dangerous problem. According to Bernie Fischlowitz-Roberts , “[t]he World Health Organization reports that 3 million people now die each year from the effects of air pollution. This is three times the 1 million who die each year in automobile accidents” (Fischlowitz-Roberts). Car accidents kill a devastating amount of people. Air pollution is worse. Air pollution has harmful effects. Results of air pollution include acid rain, smog, and health problems. Acid rain is where pollution mixes with rain. Acid Rain can kill plants and also animals ("Indoor and Outdoor Air Pollution”). Smog occurs when there is fog mixing with smoke (“Air Quality”). Air pollution has a powerful effect on people. People can get diseases or they can get sick from eating things influenced by air pollution. The World Health Organization says that one million people die in a year from a disease called COPD, which is a lung disease that can be caused by breathing pollution (“Indoor Air Pollution and Health”). Also, people with asthma get asthma attacks more often when affected by air pollution ("Major Air Pollutants”). Where does air pollution come from? A major source is from vehicles. There is an estimation of over one billion cars in the world (Sousanis). When cars burn fuel, dangerous pollutants such as ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon dioxide are released (“Major Air Pollutants”). Diesel exhaust is dangerous as well. Diesel gas has “over 40 substances listed as hazardous air pollutants by the U.S. EPA” (“10 Air Pollution Facts”). Also, the burning of fossil fuels can result in pollution. The World Health Organization reports, “Around 3 billion people still cook and heat their homes using solid fuels in open fires and leaky stoves.” In addition to pollution from cooking and heating sources, ships can be bad for the environment as well. Ships release lots of pollutants- up to


one ton of pollutants in a day while the ship is unloading (“10 Air Pollution Facts”). Mobile, Alabama is affected because it has ship docks that import and export goods. Some people are battling air pollution. Still, more people need to help reduce air pollution. Being more consciences about air pollution respects God’s creation, helps reduce health problems, and helps take care of the planet. Actions now benefit later generations as well. An easy way to cut down on air pollution is by carpooling (“Pollution”). Carpooling is an easy way to avoid putting pollution in the air because it saves money on gas and time. Being careful what you burn in a fire is also important because some things release particles in the air that are unhealthy to breathe. Also, planting trees can help with air pollution (“Simple Solutions”). Turning off lights when no one is in the room helps reduce air pollution as well (“Simple Solutions”). Turning off lights helps because some of the sources of energy are not good for the environment. Turning off lights saves energy, which results in less pollutants being released. Many countries are trying to help with the pollution problem. The Clean Air Act is a law that is in place to help with pollution (“Understanding the Clean Air Act”). The World Health Organization is also trying to help by doing research and other efforts to help with pollution (“Indoor Air Pollution and Health”). Air pollution is a major problem and it has serious effects on people and the environment. Without people trying to stop it, air pollution could get worse. Everyone should help.

Works Cited "10 air pollution facts - Coalition for Clean Air - California." 10 air pollution facts - Coalition for Clean Air California. 07 Dec. 2012 <http://ccair.org/facts-about-air-pollution/10-air-pollution-facts>. "Air Quality." Clean Air Kids. 10 Dec. 2012 <http://www.clean-air-kids.org.uk/airquality.html>.


Air Resources Board. "Simple Solutions." CA.gov. California Environmental Protection Agency. <http://www.arb.ca.gov/html/brochure/simple_solutions.pdf>. Fischlowitz-Roberts, Bernie. "Air Pollution Fatalities Now Exceed Traffic Fatalities by 3 to 1." Plan B Updates. 17 Sept. 2002. 07 Dec. 2012 <http://www.earth-policy.org/plan_b_updates/2002/update17>. "Indoor and Outdoor Air Pollution." Air Pollution. 07 Dec. 2012 <http://www.lbl.gov/Education/ELSI/pollutionmain.html>. "Major Air Pollutants." FactMonster.com. Pearson Education. 07 Dec. 2012 <http://www.factmonster.com/ipka/A0004695.html>. "Pollution." Green Student U RSS. Junior Media. 07 Dec. 2012 <http://www.greenstudentu.com/encyclopedia/pollution>. Sousanis, John. "World Vehicle Population Tops 1 Billion Units." WardsAuto Home Page. 15 Aug. 2011. WardsAuto. 07 Dec. 2012 <http://wardsauto.com/ar/world_vehicle_population_110815>. "Understanding the Clean Air Act | Plain English Guide to The Clean Air Act." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency. 07 Dec. 2012 <http://www.epa.gov/airquality/peg_caa/understand.html>. World Health Organization. "Indoor air pollution and health." WHO. Sept. 2011. World Health Organization. 07 Dec. 2012 <http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs292/en/index.html>.


Acid Rain: A Threat to our Environment by Reece Stevens Every day is a blessing to live in a world with a marvelous environment. Gorgeous flowers, trees, and nature of the world are a breathtaking sight. Without nature, we could not produce the crops and foods that we need to survive. Regrettably, the charming flowers, trees, crops, and soil of the world are endangered by acid rain. Acid rain is a colossal threat to our environment, the animals, and human health. Acid rain is dry and wet materials from the atmosphere that have an abnormally high amount of nitric and sulfuric acid; the compounds are mixed together to form acid rain. Acid rain is generated by nature, and it is man-made. In nature, volcanoes and decaying vegetation generate acid rain; the most common source of acid rain, however,

is from man. Fossil fuels

combust, producing nitrogen oxide; the

nitrogen oxide reacts with

oxygen and water in the atmosphere

generating acid rain.

Electrical power generators are run off of

combusting fossil fuels which

generate large amounts of nitrogen oxide

and sulfur dioxide. Electric

power generation is responsible for two-thirds of sulfur dioxide and one-fourth of nitrogen oxide in the United States (“What is Acid Rain?”). Automobile engines also produce nitrogen oxide (David). While power plants and automobiles around the world produce acid rain, the wind blows acid rain across the world making acid rain a global issue (“What is Acid Rain?”). Two different types of acid rain exist. The first type of acid rain is wet deposition. Wet deposition refers to the combination of acid rain with rain, fog, or snow; wet deposition requires wet weather. The acid rain falls to the ground as rain, snow, or fog, and the melted snow or rain produces an acidic water flow that negatively affects animals and plants of the environment. The second type of acid rain is dry deposition. Dry deposition is when acid rain combines with


dust or smoke. Dry deposition requires dry weather. The acid rain falls to the ground, and it sticks to the buildings, trees, cars, homes, and the ground. Dry deposition can be washed away with water, but the water makes the acid rain even more acidic (“What is Acid Rain?”). Acid rain has a destructive effect on the environment, animals and plants. Acid rain terminates

substances in the soil, and it washes away

the nutrients

of the soil. In other words, acid rain makes

the soil more

acidic. Plants affected by acid rain do not

receive the

nutrients and substances they need to

survive. The

plants absorb the acidic soil, which poisons

the plants. Animals that consume the poisoned plants absorb the acid nutrients from the plants, harming the animal. Acid rain dramatically harms the environment and animals (“Acid Rain”). Acid rain has a horrendous influence on Mobile, Alabama. Acid rain corrodes and erodes the artwork of Mobile. It

erodes

buildings and marble statues

in Mobile (“An

Overview”), and it

negatively

affects the health of the

citizens of

Mobile. Acid rain travels in

small particles

which can be inhaled

through the

lungs. The inhaled particles can cause respiratory disease, such as asthma or bronchitis (“Why is Acid Rain Harmful?”). There is also some evidence to suggest that acid rain may contribute to skin cancer (“Johnson”). Acid rain has a ghastly affect in Mobile, Alabama, partly by impairing people’s health.


Acid rain is a colossal threat to our environment, but everyone can work together to reduce acid rain. Everyone can do three actions that reduce acid rain. People can carpool or use public transportation to reduce the amount of nitrogen oxide released into the air from automobiles. Citizens can improve the efficiency of their home insulation and therefore improve heating and cooling. Finally, people can conserve energy to reduce acid rain by using lights, washing machines, and refrigerators that consume less energy (â&#x20AC;&#x153;Why is Acid Rain Harmful?â&#x20AC;?). Acid rain is an immense threat to the environment, but if everyone plays their part to reduce the menacing acid rain, then our environment will improve for the better.


Works Cited "ACES Publications : ACID RAIN: AN OVERVIEW : ANR-1229." ACES Publications : ACID RAIN: AN OVERVIEW : ANR-1229. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2012. <http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-1229/index2.tmpl>. "Acid Rain." ThinkQuest. Oracle Foundation, n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2012. <http://library.thinkquest.org/C007231/effect1.htm>. David, Michael,, David,, and Caroline. "Acid Rain." ThinkQuest. Oracle Foundation, n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2012. <http://library.thinkquest.org/26026/Environmental_Problems/acid_rain.html>. Johnson, Ifada. "THE FACTS ABOUT ACID RAIN." Modernghana.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2012. "What Is Acid Rain?" EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2012. <http://www.epa.gov/acidrain/what/index.html>. "Why Is Acid Rain Harmful?" EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2012. <http://www.epa.gov/acidrain/education/site_students/whyharmful.html>.


Water Pollution in Our Home by Tripp Galloway Freshwater pollution has become a problem for about half of the world’s population, with around five to ten million deaths every year by water-based diseases. In the United States, polluted water is our largest health risk. Without clean and healthy water for drinking, cooking, and farming, the human race would be destroyed. Not only is water pollution affecting the human race, but the marine life as well. Water pollution continues to affect both our quality of life and health. According to the “Natural Resources Defense Council”, “when water from rain and melting snow runs off roofs and roads into our rivers, it picks up toxic chemicals, dirt, trash and diseasecarrying organisms along the way.”; and according to the “Grinning Planet Group”, “right now, around 40% of America’s rivers are too polluted for fishing, swimming, and aquatic life. Even worse are America’s lakes with a pollution percentage of 46%” (“Water Pollution Facts”). With our rivers contaminated by pollution, the water that is collected and used from these rivers as our drinking water is undrinkable. Our water is tested to be undrinkable because of: human, animal and industrial wastes, pollutants from rain water, residue of agricultural practices, pathogens, and chemical pollutants. According to Henry Ford, “all over the world, water pollution is increasingly becoming a major public health concern as statistics shows [sic] rising levels of pollution in major waterways. Since sustenance of life on earth depends on water, water pollution is a major threat to life on earth” (Ford). Although pollution from wastes and sewage are threats to lives in the United States, lead has become the eastern shore’s most common and


dangerous water pollutant. The Henry Ford notes that, “In Eastern United States, lead pollution is already identified as a major problem in major cities. Water analysis reports shows that there is a high amount of lead in most public water system[sic] that is endangering lives of millions of Americans inhabiting these cities. A number of research studies, especially on school children, have revealed elevated amount[sic] of lead in their bodies as a result of drinking lead contaminated water” (Ford). Research studies and water analysis have shown that lead pollution has elevated past the recommended levels. Public schools along the eastern shore are subject to the threat of lead pollution. Research on public school drinking water has shown that children from ages one through six are in particular risk to lead contamination, which can lead to many health effects on those who are contaminated by it. Reports in Philadelphia have shown that 57.4% of school buildings have water levels contaminated by lead. According to the Henry Ford, “the severity and frequency of health effects occurs with the increase in lead concentration in the blood. In the short term, lead poisoning can lead to loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, insomnia, fatigue, headache, anemia, and others. However, long term exposure may lead to disease condition and damage in blood formation, nervous, urinary, and reproductive systems” (Ford). Lead occurrence in water arrives from different sources. Lead enters our drinking water mainly from the corrosion and wearing away of water pipes and from mixing water with materials that already contain lead. Henry Ford notes that, “materials that contaminate water include lead based joints which are used to weld copper pipes together, brass and chrome brass faucets, and even from pipes which are made using lead” (Ford). The same problems have been occurring in Washington D.C. as well. The


pipes in more than 35,000 homes in D.C. are being replaced to better protect the people from lead contamination. Water pollution is also attacking Mobile Bay. According to the “Alabama Rivers Alliance”, “nitrogen pollution comes from sources such as the Mobile Area Water and Sewer System, which dumps much of its effluent into Mobile Bay” (Mobile Press Register: Alabama Gets D on Water Quality Report Card). Large amounts of nitrogen and phosphorous from industry and municipal sewer systems are being dumped into Mobile Bay over the set limit of the Clean Water Act. Local nitrogen pollution comes from the Mobile Area Water and Sewer Systems, dumped mostly from golf courses and farming operations. Large amounts of nitrogen and phosphorous are being dumped every day into Dog River. Nitrogen and phosphorous are the key ingredients used in the formation of both the Gulf of Mexico’s low-oxygen area, or dead zone, and Mobile Bay’s smaller dead zone. However, in early 2012, Mobile Bay’s dead zone has developed earlier than normal and has become more widespread than in previous years, now expanding about 6,745 square miles along the southern coast. Most of the dead zones are located along the coast of Louisiana and Texas, but every year the dead zones steadily expand towards Alabama, meaning that Mobile is now in threat of low oxygen levels. The people and aquatic life near Mobile will now be threatened by the possibility of low oxygen levels reaching our shore. With oxygen levels slowly becoming lower, aquatic life retreats further into the shallow waters near shore into the higher oxygen level areas.


Unfortunately, some life cannot bear the low levels of oxygen and die while trying to escape. Right now, around half of the world’s population is being threatened by freshwater pollution. Freshwater pollution is the United States’ greatest health risk today. Millions of citizens are killed from diseases caused by freshwater pollution. Without clean and healthy water, both the human race and marine life will perish. With America’s lakes and rivers being over polluted, Americans can’t fish, swim, or sustain aquatic life in these freshwater sources. All sources of freshwater pollution are destroying the natural habitats for marine life and our sources of survival. Works Cited Ford, Henry. "Water Pollution in Eastern United States." EzineMark Article RSS. N.p., 5 June 2011. Web. 10 Dec. 2012. <http://lead.ezinemark.com/water-pollution-in-eastern-united-states-7d2e625c4eb9.html>. "Mobile Press Register: Alabama Gets D on Water Quality Report Card." — Alabama Rivers Alliance. N.p., 4 Sept. 2009. Web. 10 Dec. 2012. <http://www.alabamarivers.org/press-room/headlines/mobile-press-register-alabama-gets-d-onwater-quality-report-card>.

"Water." Pollution Facts, Effects of Pollution, Clean Act. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2012. <http://www.nrdc.org/water/>.

"Water Pollution Facts." Water Pollution Facts. N.p., 22 July 2005. Web. 06 Dec. 2012. <http://www.grinningplanet.com/2005/07-26/water-pollution-facts-article.htm>.

"Water Pollution." Water Pollution. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2012.


Water Pollution in Alabama’s Waters by Will Slaton According to Alabama Gulf Coast Vacations “Something magical happens when you visit the Alabama Gulf Coast. The moment you arrive, the world starts to fade away. Maybe it's the sound of waves gently lapping the shore. Perhaps it's our white sand Gulf Coast beaches and sparkling emerald water. You linger over a succulent, fresh seafood dinner at one of the seaside restaurants in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, where nobody rushes to get away from the table” (Alabama Gulf Coast Vacations). Alabama’s lakes, rivers, bays, and the Gulf of Mexico make up a large portion of its natural resources. These waters are used recreationally and as a source of income for businesses and individuals. Whether the destination for tourists, a mode of transportation, or a source of food, Alabama waters are a vital part of the Alabama economy. Alabama’s waters are also affected by water pollution. Water pollution is present in all areas of the state, and it can threaten the enjoyment and economic benefits of Alabama waters. Water pollution is a huge issue throughout the world. It can be caused by careless people who litter our waters. Oil spills can also contribute to the quality of waters in the Gulf of Mexico and other areas. One oil spill, in particular, had a huge impact on Alabama’s waters. On April 20, 2010 the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and BP was unable to stop the flow of oil. The oil made its way to Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana’s beaches. The oil was dispersed throughout area waters and settled on


the beaches in the form of tar balls. Throughout the Gulf Coast, natural disasters cause storm runoff. When it floods, the floodwaters carry trash and other kinds of objects into rivers which drain in bays. When Dog River floods, for example, the water reaches the houses and carries away trash, bikes, and other objects that have been left outside. On rare occasions the high flood water rushes through houses and takes out their support beams and tears them down. The flooded water carries the trash into Dog River and then the debris is deposited into the bay. These are some of the causes of water pollution in Alabamaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s waters that affect us directly. Various types of pollution can have many different effects on the environment. The types of water pollution are surface water pollution, oxygen depleting, groundwater, sediment/ nutrient pollution, chemical waste, and suspended matter pollution. Surface water is the water on the surface of Earth such as lakes, rivers, bays, and oceans. When these waters are polluted it is called surface water pollution. Oxygen depletion occurs when there are too many microorganisms in the water that are using up all of the oxygen in the water. When oxygen is depleted in water, harmless aerobic microorganisms die and anaerobic microorganisms that are harmful to humans begin to reproduce and thrive in the water. Ground water pollution occurs when the earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s underground water supplies are polluted. Nutrient pollution happens when nutrients are found in wastewater and fertilizers and can cause weeds and algae to grow excessively in large amounts in water. Chemical waste pollution is caused from Industrial plants or agricultural jobs that deal with chemicals. The chemicals drain into our water systems and pollute them. Suspended matter pollution occurs when pollutants drain into the water and cannot dissolve so the pollutant remains floating in the water (Types of Water Pollution).


In the Gulf of Mexico there is a hypoxic dead zone. The dead zone starts at the mouth of the Mississippi River and goes west into the Gulf of Mexico and covers part of the Texas coast. According to Bruckner “This dead zone is caused by nutrient enrichment from the Mississippi River, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus” (Bruckner). The dead zone causes nutrient overloading and algal blooms, which is a rapid increase in algae. As a result of these algae, “The hypoxic water supports fewer organisms and has been linked to massive fish kills in the Gulf of Mexico” (Bruckner). This dead zone affects Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and other Gulf Coast state’s economy. The Gulf is a major source of seafood for these coastal states. If the dead zone kills most of the supply of seafood the state’s economy will drop. If this dead zone worsens the fisherman and these state’s economies will largely be affected and decline. To help minimize the dead zone in the Gulf, we should use fewer fertilizers and control when we use them to limit runoff of the excess nutrients that cause the dead zone. We should control animal wastes and monitor the septic systems and sewage treatment facilities so this waste doesn’t enter our water ways. If we minimize the dead zone, the supply of nitrogen and phosphorus would be greatly reduced (Bruckner). Water pollution has huge effects on the environment and can severely harm it. According to Effects Water Pollution “Two thirds of the major cities in the globe are located along coasts, and millions of people have holidays at shorelines. Pollution from urbanized areas drains into the ocean killing sea life that threatens human health, causes toxic algae blooms which deplete oxygen in water columns, and drive beach closures” (Effects Water Pollution). In addition to killing sea life, “Water pollution destroys coral reefs and coastal environments


which are crucial for reproduction, food, and cover for aquatic species” (“Effects Water Pollution”) Water pollution also has effects on humans if they get in or near the polluted water. Water pollution is very dangerous and can cause respiratory and skin diseases. Polluted water may contain pathogens that can cause animals and humans to contract diseases. (“Effects Water Pollution”). According to Effects Water Pollution, “Pollutants such as lead, ammonia, and cadmium are consumed by small creatures, which are then eaten by bigger creatures. This disorients the higher levels of the food chain” (“Effects Water Pollution”). Small fish and other marine animals transmit the consumed pollutants to other creatures that eat the polluted animals then the pollutants are transmitted to humans who may eat these animals, and this will cause people to become sick. Water pollution can also affect the marine life and other animals that live in or near the polluted water. Frogs and whales all over the world are affected by water pollution. Some frogs’ skin absorbs harsh chemicals in the water and kills them. Frogs are vulnerable even to small levels of pollution. According to the Kelly Aspen whales are also affected by water pollution, “In the St. Lawrence River Estuary, beluga whales are so exposed to chemicals, their young may be deformed and their carcasses are treated as toxic waste”(Aspen). Because of the


hazardous chemicals in the water, certain types of frogs and the Alaskan beluga whale are endangered and pollution threatens their existence. (Aspen) Water pollution can be a threat to the future of Alabama waters. Industrial use, human abuses, and environmental issues can affect the quality of the variety of waters in the state of Alabama. Many of these pollutants can be controlled in order to preserve the wonderful natural resources of Alabama. If they are not controlled pollution can have fatal effects on the environment and can also harm ourselves. Different types of pollution in the Gulf have a major impact on our economy because marine life that is used for seafood cannot thrive in the dead zone. Water pollution has a huge impact on our world today. Works Cited "Alabama Gulf Coast Vacations." Gulf Shores Alabama. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2012. Aspen, Kelly. "Endangered Animals Because of Pollution." EHow. Demand Media, 18 Oct. 2009. Web. 11 Dec. 2012. Bruckner, Monica. "The Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone." The Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2012. "Effects | Water Pollution | Environmental Health." ThinkQuest. Oracle Foundation, n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2012. "Types of Water Pollution « Water Pollution." Types of Water Pollution « Water Pollution. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2012.


The pollution effects on the sea by the sewage and trash industries by Megan Stegelman Humans have dumped countless types of wastes, such as raw sewage, toxic garbage, and chemical products-into our oceans-for centuries. As time went by, and we, humans, became more educated and industrial, the products filtering into the waters became more destructive. These pollution products are harmful to human life, marine life, and ecosystems as well. In our present time, the current sewage and trash industries dump their wastes into the ocean, unloading bacteria and materials of all types-from all over- into already harmed waters. By taking cautionary measures such as restrictions and laws forcing companies to find new ways to dispose of wastes, we can-as a community-stop this pollution and cure our oceans. The pollution effects on the sea by the sewage and trash industries have been and are still increasingly rising to beyond hazardous conditions. American Coastal waters â&#x20AC;&#x153;receive a variety of land-based water pollutants, ranging from petroleum wastes to pesticides to excess sediments. Marine waters also receive wastes directly from offshore activities, such as ocean-based dumpingâ&#x20AC;? ("Water Encyclopedia.") Plastics and other trash are also dumped into the oceans. All of these trash products pose deadly threats to one or more living creatures. Petroleum, example, is a substance derived from rocks that industries use to produce gasoline and kerosene. Petroleum is deadly to humans and animals alike, and the fact that this element is merging into the coastal waters-where we fish, swim, and spend most of our summers- poses a major threat.


Starting in the 1970’s, the government began to see the booming trash levels in the waters. As the government saw the rising levels of pollution, they began to pass laws that tightened their grip on what was going into the waters. “The U.S. Congress passed the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (Ocean Dumping Act) and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments (Clean Water Act) that, among other goals, prohibited the disposal of waste materials into the ocean, and regulated the discharge of wastes through pipelines into the ocean” ("Water Encyclopedia"). Over time, the government has enforced laws upon companies restricting their ways of excreting wastes. These laws have proved to be successful in some areas, but in other areas, they have proved no help. -. Over the past five years alone, “chemical factories, manufacturing plants and other workplaces have violated water pollution laws more than half a million times. The violations range from failing to report emissions to dumping toxins at concentrations regulators say might contribute to cancer, birth defects and other illnesses” (Duhigg). When these companies violate these laws and continue to dump wastes, they raise the chance that toxins will circulate from the oceans into water systemspolluting showers, sinks, baths, and harming people. These toxins and chemicals are such a danger because they are invisible. These ‘invisible’ toxins and chemicals can easily contaminate populated and busy waters. “EPA research shows that an estimated one in

10 Americans have been exposed to drinking water that contains dangerous chemicals or fails to meet a federal health benchmark in other ways” (Duhigg.) While waters are getting polluted with chemicals, they are also being used as outputs for wastes. Industrial companies dump their wastes through water systems, like sewers. In the


past, these industries have not been required to regulate or clean their ‘trash’. Industrial wastes include plastics, toxins, and many more harmful substances. In short, ever since America has begun thriving in industrialization, we have also been harming our waters.. According to the EPA, “approximately 40% of lakes, rivers and streams are not safe to fish in or swim in due to water pollution” ("Water Pollution Solutions.") If pollution continues at the current rate, then our oceans-our fishing, our boating, and any water activities in the Gulf- will become dramatically restricted and unsafe. Yes, America has taken steps to purify the oceans, but other countries are still continuing with the escalated pollution. To fully decontaminate the oceans, we-the countries of the world-must all make an effort to help this cause. Countries with large populations, such as China and India, have higher pollution rates. These large nations must work to make a change by setting examples for their people. As in the past, the United States has been the one to ‘set the example’ for major changes and events. Now, we must work to ‘set the example’ for water purification and convince other nations to join the cause against pollution. This increasing water pollution generates a question, that as the thinkers and protectors of the world, we must answer. How can we solve the problems in the oceans and purify the wastes filtering into them so they are less harmful to marine life? The answer is simple. We must start with awareness and then move into taking action. If the government increases their awareness and control over industries and their dumping procedures, then the wastes filtering in from those industries will


be dramatically reduced. Another major factor to improving pollution is for people to make changes and spread the awareness. We must not wait for others to begin the changes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You must be the change you wish to see in the worldâ&#x20AC;?- Ghandi. By living on the coasts, the waters are our lives;we need them. Now, the waters need us. To secure our happiness-the joys and memories we experience from coastal activities-we need to become active. The simplest actions are valued; they are the ones that add up to make the change. These actions include picking trash up from the beach, recycling, and, spreading awareness of the harm pollution can do to generations-now and in the future. "The pollution effects on the sea by the sewage and trash industries" expresses the ways in which we can purify the wastes filtering into earth's waters through changing the ways in which we dump wastes and being more conscious of our environments.


Works Cited

Duhigg, Charles; Karl Russell Contributed. "TOXIC WATERS; Clean Water Laws Neglected, at a Cost." The New York Times. The New York Times, 13 Sept. 2009. Web. 11 Dec. 2012. "Water Encyclopedia." Pollution of the Ocean by Sewage, Nutrients, and Chemicals. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2012. "Water Pollution Solutions." Pollution Prevention Guide. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2012.


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