Nature depends heavily upon rain and floods in order to decrease harmful bacteria and to wash away unnecessary elements posing a threat to plant and animal life. When chemicals, or garbage such as plastic bottle or cans pollute our freshwater supply, we unconsciously threaten several life forms. You might ask how harmful is a bottle or plastic bag to the environment? Consider this! When plastic bags or nets are left behind, fish and other life forms may become trapped inside and die. When chemicals are dumped on land, they soak into groundwater supplies, where most all of our drinking water is conserved. Chemicals cannot only affect our drinking water, but plant life is also damaged, creating difficulty for animals who feed off trees and forest life. Environmentalists and government officials stress the importance of following the law when dumping refuse. Strict regulations have been passed in order to maintain control of what could become a potentially dangerous situation for everyone.
Scientist were unable to determine how many birds and mammals died in the spill, but it is estimated that approximately twenty whales died from eating fish containing crude oil, five thousand sea otters, half a million seabirds, and three-hundred harbor seals died before relief efforts were completed. Many seabirds were coated with the thick oil, and required they be cleansed with soap and water before releasing them back into the wild. This process sounds simple enough, but it can take more than two hours to clean oil from the feathers of one seabird or otter.
Protecting the environment and water supplies is everyone’s responsibility. Doing your part to assure proper disposal of garbage is maintained is a sure way to say you care about life and the beauty found within it.
1.) Donnelly, Andrew; Water Pollution, The Child’s World, Inc., 1999
2.) Bramwell, Martyn, Whitefield, Philip Dr., Ocean Watch, Protecting our Plant, Dorling Kindersley Publishing, Inc., 2001