Today, pollution, understood as the anthropogenic modification of an ecosystem that involves, among other things, a change in concentration in its natural chemical components or the introduction of artificial chemical substances, takes place in all kinds of natural systems, including those coasts and beaches, which act as important sources of animal and plant biodiversity, as well as a tourist attraction.
Surely, you have noticed that there is more and more alert in the media to warn of the serious situation of the oceans, seas and beaches and all that this entails. If you want to learn more about this environmental problem, keep reading this Green Ecologist article in which we explain everything about the beach pollution, its causes and consequencesas well as information on how to prevent this from getting worse and steps to fix it.
Between the main causes of beach pollution, we can find:
For example, we can cite the discharges in wet seasons from the pipes due to excess rainfall, which include runoff water, discharges from combined sewer overflows and sanitary wastewater overflows.
Rain or snowmelt water flows through the grounds collecting materials on its way, such as chemicals, sediments and pollutants, such as gasoline, motor oil, antifreeze, fertilizers, pesticides, metals, as well as bacteria, and ends up in drains , rivers, streams and, finally, on the beaches and the ocean.
On the other hand, combined sewer overflows, which are those that collect rainwater and domestic and industrial wastewater and transport them to treatment plants, can occur in times of abundant rainfall in which the volume of wastewater collected can Exceeding the capacity of the sewage system or the treatment plant and, therefore, causing discharges of said excess wastewater directly to streams, rivers or other nearby bodies of water.
In turn, overflows of sanitary water (a mixture of raw, industrial wastewater and rainwater) can occur when unintentional discharges of the same take place from the sewage systems in situations of obstructions or failures in the system ( for example, due to overloads).
Here you will find more information about What is wastewater and how it is classified
Accumulation of garbage and waste, among which plastic waste, microplastics, bottles, cans, cigarette butts, caps and lids stand out. These wastes can reach the beaches in two more ways: either by not being properly recycled and being transported by rainwater to sewers, rivers and streams and ending up in the ocean, or by having been deposited directly on the beaches themselves by your visitors.
In this other Green Ecologist article you can learn more about Garbage Pollution, its causes and consequences.
Accidental or intentional discharges from recreational and commercial boats start in the ocean or sea, but much end up on the beaches, affecting different ecosystems. The discharges generated by the boats include garbage from food, fishing equipment (nets, ropes, etc.), ballast water, water from showers and sinks or anti-fouling paints, among others.
There are nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, that are found naturally in aquatic ecosystems and that serve for the growth of algae and aquatic plants and these, in turn, as food and habitat for the fauna of the system. The excess of these nutrients occurs on many coasts and can be due to anthropic activities and cause environmental problems and negative effects on people's health. One of the most important sources of this excess of nutrients on the beaches is agriculture, due to the excessive use of fertilizers, fertilizers for crops and soil erosion.
The consequences of beach pollution they are highly varied in nature and solution, as shown below.
To prevent or reverse situations of beach pollution, various measures can be implemented both at the legislative level and at the individual level of those who visit the coastal areas. So that you have an idea about how to prevent beach pollution, we can highlight the following ideas:
Within the set of management and restoration measures for polluted beaches, highlight:
Finally, here below you can see a gallery of photos of pollution on the beaches, which you can use, along with this information, to help raise awareness.
If you want to read more articles similar to Beach pollution: causes and consequences, we recommend that you enter our Pollution category.