Beach Pollution

Beach pollution is any harmful substance that contaminates our coasts, ranging from plastic, trash, and litter to sewage, pesticides, and oil. Excess amounts of natural substances, such as nitrogen and phosphorus from fertilizers and animal waste, are also pollutants.

The Problem

Most pollutants that make their way into the ocean come from human activities along the coastlines and far inland. One of the biggest sources of pollution is nonpoint source pollution, which occurs because of runoff. Nonpoint source pollution can come from many sources, like septic tanks, vehicles, farms, livestock ranches, and timber harvest areas. Pollution that comes from a single source, like an oil or chemical spill, is known as point source pollution. Point source pollution events often have large impacts, but fortunately, they occur less often. Discharge from faulty or damaged factories or water treatment systems is also considered point source pollution.

Environmental Consequences

Polluted beach water represents a serious health hazard for swimmers and can damage coastal economies. Illnesses associated with polluted beach water include stomach flu, skin rashes, pinkeye, respiratory infections, meningitis, and hepatitis.

In addition to the health effects of polluted beach water, there may be deep financial impacts as well. Economists have estimated that a typical swimming day is worth approximately $35 for each beach visitor, so the economic loss for each day on which a beach is closed or under advisory for water quality problems can be significant.

Aquatic life are the main victims from ocean pollution. Oil spills, for instance, will ensnare and suffocate marine animals by permeating their gills. When the oil gets into seabird feathers, they may not be able to fly or feed their young. Animals that aren’t killed by crude oil may suffer from cancer, behavioral changes and become unable to reproduce.

Marine animals also mistake small plastic debris for food or become entangled in or strangled by plastic bags and discarded fishing nets. Animals most vulnerable to harm from plastic debris in the ocean include dolphins, fish, sharks, turtles, seabirds, and crabs.

Possible Solutions

Everyone can do something to help solve the plastic pollution problem, and millions of people worldwide are already taking action to reduce their plastic use. Here are seven ways you can make a difference, starting today.

– Reduce Your Use of Single-Use Plastics

– Recycle Properly

– Participate In a Beach or River Cleanup

– Support Bans

– Avoid Products Containing Microbeads

– Spread the Word

– Support Organizations Addressing Ocean Pollution

WSO’s Activities and Initiatives

WSO Friend of the Sea project has taken multiple steps for protecting and preventing the beach and ocean pollution as part of its mission of certifying products coming from sustainable fishing and aquaculture practices:

  • Certified Friend of the Sea products from sustainable fishing and aquaculture activities which do not pollute the environment.
  • Organize and participate in various seminars, symposiums, conferences, and school awareness to spread the information on ocean pollution among local communities so that they act responsibly as tourists.
  • Friend of the Sea supports Asdomar, one of the main Italian canned fish brands, in its beach cleaning campaigns in Italy.

More projects

Beach Cleaning Awareness In School
Raising Awareness in Schools
Save the Albatross
Save the Albatross Project
Friend of the Sea Hero
Friend of the Sea Hero