Fresno Pacific University
Environment and Humanity
April 09, 2012
Beach Pollution and Its Effect on Our Environment
Beach pollution is a growing problem in our society. Does it have an effect on our environment? If it does, how does it affect us? Are there solutions to prevent beach pollution? We will examine the issue of beach pollution, the effect it has on our environment and possible solutions to preventing it’s getting worse.
An enormous amount of the human population and infrastructure is found along one of our most precious resources, better known as the coastline or State beaches. Beach pollution has become a wide spread problem due in part to natural phenomena such as heavy rain, hurricanes and red tides. (www.groundtruthtrekking.org)
Unnatural causes that are carried out near lagoons, rivers, seas and beaches can include but are not limited to: wastes from ships and small vessels, seafood and fish product waste by fishermen cleaning their catch near the beach, sugar mills near the coast, edible waste dumped in the sea by restaurant operators, treated or untreated drainage discharge of an agricultural or domestic origin, that empty directly into the sea. Residential septic systems, overrun sewage treatment, lawns that have been treated with pesticides and fertilizer, are all contributors of pollution. Acid rain in which air pollutants become dissolved in water drops which in turn acidify the water, which is commonly known as “acid rain”. Both human and animal waste adds microbial pathogens, intestinal parasites and viruses into the water.
However, in many cases communities and visitors exhibiting a disregard for one of our most precious resources are a large reason our beaches have become heavily polluted. Today it is quite common to hear on the daily news about a new form of pollution. More often, it is the direct result of our society becoming careless and holding no regard in the manner we discard our daily use of drinks, daily food products, industrial waste and byproducts, nor the negative effect it will have on our beaches and more importantly our environment.
If we as a society wish to preserve our coastal resources and be a contributor to the minimization of losing our State’s beaches, it then becomes both a social and economical responsibility of said society. Failure to do so could cost us a beautiful and natural resource. (www.ypte.org.uk)
The number of swimming advisories and the closing of beaches annually, indicate that
pollution at said sites continue to be a persistent and growing problem which continues to
increase at an alarming rate. (www.dbw.ca.gov)
In 1995, close to 4000 beaches were closed by local and state governments. In 2010, more
than 4,512 beaches were either closed or issued advisory days.
(www.nrdc.org/water/oceans/ttw/faq.asp) Due to the severity of this problem, a few States now
have comprehensive monitoring systems which are quite comprehensive, while other states have
limited programs that monitor water quality and the safety of the water for recreation and
Past studies have shown pollution of beaches are usually infrequent or confined to local areas.
Disruption or damage to a wastewater collection or a water treatment centers infrastructure can
be compromised due to natural events such as heavy rainfall, flooding or hurricanes.
Water pollution also causes harmful micro-organism diseases, which involve poisoning episodes that affect the health and digestive system of humans. Coastal waters often receive the brunt of human waste, either by natural land run-off or deliberate dumping. Approximately 80% of ocean pollution is the result of land based activities. It often takes human casualties before Government officials acknowledge the...