Oceans are an important part of the global life support system. They affect the climate, weather and condition of the atmosphere, as well as are a powerful reserve of food, mineral and other resources.
The World Ocean is a fail-proof receiver of all kinds of waste. Reseting in it pollutants, pesticides, fertilizers, increasing of marine pollution by oil, clogging the river by estuaries - all this makes a real suggestion that there may be a time when the ocean will cease to serve a man. Oceans are a total waste pit, a huge septic tank from which water, carrying a large circle, returns to humans, animals and plants in its purest form. Pollution of marine waters should be considered by taking into account the complex nature of water exchange between the geosphere and the constituent systems in the hydrologic cycle and evolution of the Earth.
About 70% of marine pollution is associated with the ground sources. Pollution occurs as a result of shipping and discharge of waste into the sea. Coastal and offshore areas are particularly exposed to pollution. It is contributed to a location of the industry and agricultural lands. According to Maurice Swartz, “pollution is a serious concern because it degrades coastal water quality, causes both acute and insidious impacts on estuarine and marine organisms, exposes humans to increased health risks, and results in diminished human use of coastal resources” (Swartz, 420).
Nearshore water is an area which is a part of coastal watersheds. The United States Environmental Protection Agency defined the nearshore “as an indefinite zone extending seaward from the shoreline well beyond the breaker zone. It defines the area where the current system is caused primarily by wave action” (n.p.).
The main sources of nearshore pollution are:
- Discharge of industrial and commercial water directly into the sea.
- Flowing from the shores of various substances used in agriculture and forestry.
- Loss of various substances during the marine operations.
- Emergency emissions.
- Development of mineral resources on the seabed.
According to Great Lakes Commission, “nearshore areas are a valuable ecological and economic resource. They provide drinking water for municipalities and critical habitat for numerous species of birds, fish and other aquatic life” (n.p.).
Oil pollution is the most characteristic for the areas of the shelf.
The main source of pollution of surface water is taken out erosion material to sea. Specialists of pollution believe that sludge and solid suspensions, which fall into streams, rivers, lakes and estuaries, which are at least 700 times greater than the total amount of waste, are entering the ocean from human activity. Erosion can occur on agricultural land, the unprotected forest soils, depleted pastures, quarries, roads and construction sites. It is estimated that during high intensity rainfall erosion under construction motorway is 10 times more than in the treated soil, 200 times more than in pastures, and 2000 times higher than in the forest.
The main sources of pollution of the coastal zone are the economic and domestic waste from ports and coastal towns.
During the processing of cargoes in ports, transshipment operations of iron ore, coal, fertilizers and raw materials (bauxite, phosphates), petroleum and others, pollution is mainly manifested in the form of flood and sedimentation due to the air of dust and gas aerosols. Thus, the accumulation of dust in the air of the coastal zone exceeds the MCL for 1,5 superphosphate, sodium chloride, urea. Features of water exchange in ports effect the accumulation of pollution in the provinces, and the formation of secondary sources of denaturation of the marine environment with significant deterioration of water quality in the areas of recreation. In coastal areas, there might be biogeochemical anomalies, which are harmful to health of population.
Dumping of radioactive wastes has led to an increase of radioactivity in some areas (Irish Sea, Sea of ??Japan, north-eastern side of Atlantic, the Pacific coast of the United States).
Along with the possibility of a direct impact on water users of polluted coastal environment, there is the possibility of indirect effect through the acquisition of toxic properties in seafood.
Such conditions of marine water determine the nature of the biological effects of marine pollution on health of population. This has especially increased risk of pollutants that enter the body through contact with water or bottom sediments. The current system of sanitary supervision of recreational areas should take into account safety indicators of sediments. Development of research on the hygienic evaluation of sediment conditions and complex characteristics of water should be a priority in the system of sanitary supervision over areas of sea water.
According to Alyson Eileen Santoro, “as recreational beach closures and advisories become more frequent across the nation, coastal managers are searching for tools that allow for discrimination between different sources of pollution” (Santoro, 109).
In order to protect nearshore water, many arrangements should be done: creating schemes of complex use and protection of water basins, which should ensure the preservation of water quality in compliance with the rules of protection of nearshore waters from pollution by sewage, sanitary regulations of the nearshore waters.
“The transfer of bacterial indicators, pathogens, and MST markers to the nearshore waters, sediments, groundwater, and lake water is being characterized to provide important information to beach managers for protecting public health” (USGS, n.p.). The state should provide technological measures aimed at reduction of wastewaters by improving of production technologies, improvement of methods of sewage treatment, recycling of substances, and implementation of water recycling.
It is important to create favorable conditions for living, health and recreation with using water resources, to educate attitude towards water resources together by the government and by community organizations. Environmental education and public environmental activities are not less important.
People should learn more about water quality that can affect the communities where they live. They can become citizen volunteers and be involved in different measurements. Everyone should reduce using of herbicides and pesticides. Citizens need to understand that the less water they use, the less runoff will be in nearshore waters. People should practice good housekeeping without harmful household wastes. The United States Environmental Protection Agency advices “to follow label directions for the use and disposal of household chemicals. Take used motor oil, paints, and other hazardous household materials to proper collection sites” (n.p.).
Every person should respect nearshore water and remember that it affects health and future of everyone.