On this day of awareness and action on behalf of our environment, let’s explore some of the marine habitats most affected by plastic pollution.
First introduced by the International Federation of Environmental Health (IFEH) Council in 2011, World Environmental Health Day is observed every year on September 26 as a way to raise global awareness about today’s most pressing environmental health concerns.
Plastic pollution is one of many environmental challenges facing the global community. From the deepest ocean trenches to the peaks of the Pyrenees Mountains, there isn’t a single place on Earth left untouched by the scourge of plastic pollution.
Keep reading to learn more about some of the marine habitats most impacted by plastic pollution and shop the bracelets that represent them.
Coral reefs cover less than 1% of the ocean floor and support around 25% of all marine life. Yet a quarter of the world’s coral reefs are already considered damaged beyond repair. If the current rate of degradation and die-off continues, coral reefs could disappear from the ocean in just a few decades.
Mangroves and other estuaries provide countless benefits to humans. They offer critical nursing environments for the juveniles of thousands of fish species, many of which are consumed by humans. They also protect coastal communities from floods, erosion, and storm surge while helping to regulate the climate and counteract the effects of global warming. Yet it’s estimated that we’ll lose these critical ecosystems by 2100 unless we take drastic and immediate action to save them.
Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most complex and biodiverse ecosystems on the planet. It supports nearly 9,000 aquatic species and is so large it can be seen from space. The cumulative effects of climate change, plastic pollution, industrial runoff, coastal development, overfishing, and extreme weather events are weakening the reef’s resilience and ability to recover, which has alarming implications for the ecosystem (and humans) that rely on it to survive.
The Everglades is a UNESCO World Heritage Site just like the Great Barrier Reef, Grand Canyon, and Serengeti Plains. It’s a vast expanse of subtropical wetlands unlike any other on the planet. Despite its significance, the Everglades has been dredged, diked, and drained to make way for agricultural and urban development. Microplastic pollution, nutrient pollution, invasive species, and sea level rise are also threats to the future of this historic ecosystem.
Plastic pollution anywhere is a problem everywhere
Everything on our planet is interconnected. The degradation of a single habitat is the degradation of all habitats. We must work together to protect our environment and end the global crisis of plastic pollution.
Support the clean ocean movement by visiting the 4ocean shop where every product purchased pulls one pound of trash from the ocean. Every pound you pull supports our global ocean cleanup operation and helps us advance our mission to end the ocean plastic crisis.