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Our ocean, the heart of the planet, the magnificent body of water that covers more than two-thirds of the Earth’s surface, and the reason for many essential benefits for humans. It is why people are able to live. The seaplants, water, and animals all play a role in the importance of the ocean. They produce oxygen for humans to breathe, regulate the Earth’s Climate, and are an important food source that many people love (CondorFerries). This is just a small number of reasons why we need our Ocean to live, but with the increasing measure of plastic pollution, our ocean ecosystems are able to dismantle from the bottom up. 

    The plastic pollution problem was first noticed in the ocean by the scientists who studied plankton, in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Almost 50 years later and more than a million seabirds and a hundred thousand marine animals die each year from the plastic (CondorFerries). Every year, it is estimated that eight million tons of plastic end up in the oceans each year. Studies show that plastic production has increased from 2 million tons to 380 million tons and as plastic production increases, so does pollution in our oceans. Now this does not begin to tell the effects of what plastic does. 

To put it all into perspective, if we keep putting plastic in our oceans, there could possibly be more plastic than fish by 2050. What many people do not know is that most of our ecosystems are invisible to us; there are many tiny creatures and if they  die, they affect everything up the food chain (Parker). Even up to the orcas, one of Earth’s biggest animals. It is a significant growing global pollution epidemic that starts with us. 

    Ocean plastic pollution is a prominent problem that will not go away anytime soon. It’s crazy to think about, but it starts with us and must end with us. Our oceans are the main reason why we are able to breathe and provide millions with their main source of protein. It not only harms our ocean’s ecosystems, but will ultimately affect us also. Right now the best thing we can do is realize our impact, and do what we can. It will feel like our actions do not make a difference, but they in fact do. 

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Youth Voices is an open publishing platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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