How Is Litter Affecting Coney Island?

Welcome back to my series on pollution! This post is written by Elise from Clean Coney Island. Be sure to check out her fantastic blog to learn more!

Littering is improperly disposed waste. That waste could be anything from leftover food, to plastic grocery bags, and paper cups. I’ve lived in the city for majority of my life and yet trash is still irresponsibly disposed.

Every summer, I go to Coney Island. However, I prefer to not go swimming in the beach and play in the sand for several reasons. One of them is that I end up swimming next to trash that was drifted from someone’s leftovers. As simple as that may be, it makes me self conscious of what I’m swimming in. The water in Coney Island isn’t very clear and clean unlike other beaches. However, I am not blaming anyone as it isn’t always their fault. Trash and litter could be easily picked up as the tides of the water change. I wanted to change that concept of Coney Island. Although, I don’t have enough willpower to do so. I’d really love to make an impact to help everyone in my community.

Where can we find litter? Well, anywhere, from sidewalks, public transportation, and highways. Littering is a small menace that can lead to tragic harm. I’ve been paying particular attention to the litter that drifts into the sea which causes “ocean pollution.” Ocean pollution is “​spreading of harmful substances such as oil, plastic, industrial and ​agricultural waste​ and chemical particles….”​ ​This sort of pollution crucially affects the wildlife. For instance, oil spills stick to the gills of marine animals. As a result, it makes it harder for them to move around underwater. Furthermore, if sea creatures are affected by the oil spills, imagine the reproductive system and cancer it can cause to them; or the mother’s that cannot feed their children because they’re losing the ability to swim. The ignorance of others is slowly affecting the harmless creatures that lived peacefully underwater. In addition, the chemicals that seep into the ocean have a harmful effect on the reproductive system of marine life as well. These poisonous chemicals can accumulate the fatty tissue which leads to the failure of their reproductive system. Smaller animals that are later eaten by larger animals, ingest chemical particles. Likewise, this affects the whole food chain. By affecting one animal, other animals are affected as well.

Plastic products that drift into sea affect the marine life as it takes years for it to fully decompose. It’s not even the large bundles of plastic that cause pollution but, the daily household products that are improperly disposed. It’s not easy for every animal to distinguish the difference between a jellyfish and a plastic bag. These cause digestive problems for animals which later on disrupts the food chain. As smaller fish ingest the plastic particles underwater they affect the animals that consume them. Digesting inappropriate litter internally affects the marine life because it leads to a slow and gradual death.

Thank you for reading! Remember to check out Elise’s blog and drop a like!

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