Freshwater Pollution

A Running List of Action on Plastic Pollution loading...
A Running List of Action on Plastic Pollution
The world is waking up to a crisis of ocean plastic—and we're tracking the developments and solutions as they happen.
Why Jack Johnson Sailed The Sargasso Sea Searching For Plastic loading...
Why Jack Johnson Sailed The Sargasso Sea Searching For Plastic
The artist and surfer, who grew up in Hawaii, is driving awareness of ocean pollution.
We Made Plastic. We Depend on It. Now We’re Drowning in It. loading...
We Made Plastic. We Depend on It. Now We’re Drowning in It.
The miracle material has made modern life possible. But more than 40 percent of it is used just once, and it’s choking our waterways.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Isn’t What You Think It Is loading...
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Isn’t What You Think It Is
It’s not all bottles and straws—the patch is mostly abandoned fishing gear.
Straw Wars: The Fight To Rid the Oceans Of Discarded Plastic loading...
Straw Wars: The Fight To Rid the Oceans Of Discarded Plastic
Americans use 500 million straws daily. Citizen activists want to shrink that number.
Why Do Seabirds Eat Plastic? It Smells Like Fish to Them loading...
Why Do Seabirds Eat Plastic? It Smells Like Fish to Them
A sweeping look at 10 species of seabirds gives insight into why their numbers have plummeted over the past 60 years.
About Freshwater Pollution

As technology improves, scientists are able to detect more pollutants, and at smaller concentrations, in Earth’s freshwater bodies. Containing traces of contaminants ranging from birth control pills and sunscreen to pesticides and petroleum, our planet's lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater are often a chemical cocktail.

Beyond synthetic pollution, freshwater is also the end point for biological waste, in the form of human sewage, animal excrement, and rainwater runoff flavoured by nutrient-rich fertilisers from yards and farms. These nutrients find their way through river systems into seas, sometimes creating coastal ocean zones void of oxygen—and therefore aquatic life—and making the connection between land and sea painfully obvious. When you dump paint down the drain, it often ends up in the ocean, via freshwater systems.

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