Blog: Carlita the Croc

The Rippling Effect of Water Pollution

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Back in May, I talked about how litter finds its way to waterways and can contribute to the various garbage patches swirling about in the oceans.  Today, I’m going to introduce you to another type of water pollution, the kind you can’t always see – chemical pollution. 

The first thing we need to understand before getting to the problem of chemical pollution, is that different bodies of water have different, but specific chemistry which supports the ecosystem in and around it.  Changing the levels of oxygen, bacteria, temperature, pH, salt, and more can all make an environment more or less hospitable to various organisms. 

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Take the example of the Unusual Mortality Event affecting sea lions on the west coast.  This crisis is being driven by a warming Pacific Ocean, which causes typically cold-water fish like sardines to move out to find cooler, more habitable waters.  Sardines are a prey species for sea lions, so their migration has had a hugely unfortunate impact on sea lion pups. 

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Ariel the Humboldt penguin explained a similar issue for her kind in Peru just a few weeks back. 

The chemistry of bodies of water also has an impact on human health.  If you’re from Chicago, you’ve not doubt experienced or heard of beach closings due to unsafe bacteria in the water.

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These changes in water quality can come from changes in the environment, like climate change, or from the consequences of modernized human activity, like oil spills, sewage, fertilizers, and industrial waste.  The ways that these different types of water pollution affect water quality, wildlife, and human health varies, so I will continue to blog more about the different kinds of pollution in the coming weeks.  Deal?  Deal!  Until next time reader…

Posted: 8/29/2016 11:41:46 AM by


Carlita the Croc

I'm Carlita the Croc, here to deliver my candid views on various topics, articles, news, and stories in conservation. For the latest news follow me on Twitter, for striking photos follow me on Instagram.

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