From: McKaylee Reavis, Class of 2015, Wakefield High School, Arlington, VA
Published March 10, 2014 11:01 AM

COLLEGIATE CORNER: Trash talk: Ocean Dumping

Remember the excitement that filled your body when your parents told you the family was going to go to the beach? Remember the excitement slowly leaving your body when you witnessed the trash that covered the beach for miles? Ocean dumping has become a major problem for marine life and the people who enjoy its many benefits. Many marine animals have suffered from the trash in the water and people have suffered from the sight of trash filling the ocean and cluttering the beaches ruining their supposed beautiful day. Industries, cities, and militaries have been dumping their waste into the ocean for years now. One solution to prevent this problem is to impose stricter restrictions on ocean dumping that range from pedestrian waste to toxic nuclear hazard.

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For many years, the ocean has been filling up with trash from industry ships, cities, and even discarded military equipment. "It's a massive global problem, made worse by the modern use of plastics that do not readily biodegrade." Paul Gittings of CNN writes in the article Trash busters! Eco Sailors Aim to Reduce Ocean Waste. All the trash that has been dumped has formed into giant gyres, which are big garbage patches that swirl in the ocean. John D. Sutter from CNN also comments on this issue in his article Search for Drowned Plane Highlights Ocean Trash Problem, stating, "There are about five or six major trash-collecting gyres in the world's oceans." Some of these gyres are about the size of Texas. If we keep ocean dumping then there will be more and more of these Texas-sized gyres and eventually there will be no water left to see, just trash.

Many Americans love spending their vacation on beaches. We love to be in the hot burning sun but then have a giant cooling tub just a few feet away. The beach has been a main attraction for vacationing. Who doesn't love going to the beach? Forty-six percent of people say they have gone to the beach in the past half year. Sixty-four percent said that they are more than likely going to go to the beach for vacation; one third of Americans prefer the beach over any other vacation area. American's number one vacationing spot is slowly getting ruined. "Take a walk along almost any beach in any part of the world and one's experience is often spoiled by the sight of trash, lotsam and jetsam, washed ashore from the ocean." says Gittings.

Read more at Wakefield High School, Arlington Public Schools, Arlington, VA. 

Beach trash image via Shutterstock.

This story is part of the Collegiate Corner, a section of ENN dedicated to student work. All work in this column is the product of the student in its entirely. If you have questions about the Collegiate Corner or would like to submit please contact: rblackstone@enn.com.

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