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Human Pollution of Waterways

Jane D. Doe

Western Governors University

Human Pollution of Waterways

As one walks along a warm, sandy beach collecting pretty seashells and enjoying the gentle crashing waves washing over their feet, they seldom consider where the water has been or what has been in the water. What one sees is a peaceful and magnificent ocean with mesmerizing waves that are touched by the blue sky for as far as the eye can see. If one were to look more closely at the sandy beach one might see more than just the seashells or occasional strands of sea weed. They might be shocked to discover plastic trash bags, soda bottles, or cigarette butts casually tossed away. If one were to test the water they would likely find the presence of pesticides, oil, or gas. It certainly isn’t the calm, beautiful image imagined when thinking of a beach vacation. Yet there is a growing presence of these pollutants in the Earth’s waterways that can’t be ignored. Many of the causes of these pollutants in Earth’s waterways are man made such as land, water, and air pollution. The most tangible causes of pollution in waterways are from pesticides and fertilizers, household cleaning products and human litter. In order to understand how the pesticide or fertilizer from your neighbor’s lawn, and household cleaning products from someone’s home, or that plastic shopping bag come to be in the waterways, you have to look at how interconnected our Earth is. Think back to a time when you were learning about the water cycle in science class. Precipitation, in all its wondrous forms, comes down. The water falling on land runs off, and collects in rivers, lakes, and soil. Much of it flows back into the oceans, where it will take along with it the pollution that it encounters. Or the polluted water evaporates into the air and becomes part of the atmosphere where it…...

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