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20-4 What Are the Major Water Pollution Problems Affecting Oceans?. Concept 20-4A The great majority of ocean pollution originates on land and includes oil and other toxic chemicals as well as solid waste, which threaten fish and wildlife and disrupt marine ecosystems.

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20-4 What Are the Major Water Pollution Problems Affecting Oceans?


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    1. 20-4 What Are the Major Water Pollution Problems Affecting Oceans? • Concept 20-4A The great majority of ocean pollution originates on land and includes oil and other toxic chemicals as well as solid waste, which threaten fish and wildlife and disrupt marine ecosystems. • Concept 20-4B The key to protecting the oceans is to reduce the flow of pollution from land and air and from streams emptying into these waters.

    2. Ocean Pollution Is a Growing and Poorly Understood Problem (1) • 2006: State of the Marine Environment • 80% of marine pollution originates on land • Sewage- dumped into ocean without treatment • Coastal areas most affected • Deeper ocean waters, better at: • Dilution • Dispersion • Degradation

    3. Ocean Pollution Is a Growing and Poorly Understood Problem (2) • Cruise line pollution: illegal in US waters • U.S. coastal waters • Sewage and agricultural runoff: NO3- and PO43- • Harmful algal blooms- release toxins into seafood • Oxygen-depleted zones • Few fish, large amounts of bacteria • Huge mass of plastic in North Pacific Ocean

    4. Residential Areas, Factories, and Farms Contribute to Pollution of Coastal Waters Fig. 20-16, p. 545

    5. Science Focus: Oxygen Depletion in the Northern Gulf Of Mexico • Severe cultural eutrophication • Oxygen-depleted zone • Overfertilized coastal area • Preventive measures • Fertilizer restrictions • Flood control

    6. Ocean Pollution from Oil (1) • Crude oil(from ground) and refined petroleum(fuel) • Highly disruptive pollutants • Largest source of ocean oil pollution • Urban and industrial runoff from land

    7. Ocean Pollution from Oil (2) • Volatile organic hydrocarbons • Kill many aquatic organisms • Tar-like globs on the ocean’s surface • Coat animals- affects heat insulation and buoyancy • Heavy oil components sink • Affect the bottom dwellers

    8. Ocean Pollution from Oil (3) • Faster recovery from crude oil than refined oil • 3 years vs 10-20 years or longer • Cleanup procedures • Skimmer boats, absorbent devices • No more than 15%

    9. Deepwater Horizon Blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, April 20, 2010 Fig. 20-18, p. 547

    10. Case Study: The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill • 1989: Alaska’s Prince William Sound • 11 million gallons of crude oil • 3,200 miles of coastline • Killed 250,000 seabirds • $15 billion in damages to economy • Exxon paid $3.8 billion in damages and clean-up costs • Led to improvements in oil tanker safety and clean-up strategies • http://www.nbcnews.com/video/icue/29796025#29796025

    11. 20-5 How Can We Best Deal with Water Pollution? • Concept 20-5 Reducing water pollution requires we prevent it, work with nature to treat sewage, cut resource use and waste, reduce poverty, and slow population growth.

    12. Reducing Surface Water Pollution from Nonpoint Sources • Agriculture • Reduce erosion • Reduce the amount of fertilizers • Plant buffer zones of vegetation • Control runoff • Use pesticides prudently • Tougher pollution regulations for livestock operations

    13. Laws Can Help Reduce Water Pollution from Point Sources • Clean Water Act • EPA: experimenting with a discharge trading policy that uses market forces • Cap and trade system • Can purchase credits for higher levels of pollution • Could this allow pollutants to build up? • Number of credits could be high in certain areas • Need scrutiny for cap levels

    14. Case Study: The U.S. Experience with Reducing Point-Source Pollution (1) • Clean Water Act led to improvements. Since 1972: • Americans served by community water systems meeting federal standards rose from 79% to 94% • U.S. streams that are fishable and swimmable increased from 36% to 60% • Population served by sewage treatment plants rose 36% to 74% • Annual wetland losses decrease by 80%

    15. Case Study: The U.S. Experience with Reducing Point-Source Pollution (2) • Leakage of gasoline storage tanks into groundwater • Many violations of federal laws and regulations • Need to strengthen the Clean Water Act

    16. Sewage Treatment Reduces Water Pollution (1) • Septic tank system • Wastewater or sewage treatment plants • Primary sewage treatment • Physical process • Secondary sewage treatment • Biological process with bacteria • Tertiary or advance sewage treatment • Special filtering processes • Bleaching, chlorination

    17. Solutions: Primary and Secondary Sewage Treatment Fig. 20-20, p. 551

    18. There Are Sustainable Ways to Reduce and Prevent Water Pollution • Developed countries • Bottom-up political pressure to pass laws • Developing countries • Little has been done to reduce water pollution • China : ambitious plan

    19. Solutions: Methods for Preventing and Reducing Water Pollution Fig. 20-21, p. 553

    20. What Can You Do? Reducing Water Pollution Fig. 20-22, p. 554

    21. Three Big Ideas • There are a number of ways to purify drinking water, but the most effective and cheapest strategy is pollution control. • The key to protecting the oceans is to reduce the flow of pollution from land and air, and from streams emptying into ocean waters.

    22. Three Big Ideas • Reducing water pollution requires that we prevent it, work with nature in treating sewage, cut resource use and waste, reduce poverty, and slow population growth.