“Now you see it, now you don’t!”
A Toronto teen has issued a warning after discovering garbage mounds while diving in Humber Bay.
Dumping, spilled containers, litter washed into storm drains and waterways, and wind-blown landfill waste all contribute to this issue. (underwater garbage mounds) This increased water pollution has had serious negative consequences, including the capture of animals by discarded fishing nets, the concentration of plastic debris in massive marine garbage patches, and increased concentrations of contaminants in the food chain.
Internationally, laws and policies have been adopted to prevent and mitigate marine debris and pollutants, with the UN including reduced marine pollution in Sustainable Development Goal 14 “Life Below Water.” Some countries have implemented more specific protection policies based on their relevance to the issues and various levels of contribution. Furthermore, some non-profits, non-governmental organizations, and government agencies are developing programs to collect and remove plastics from the ocean.
Litter has been found to spread over the floor of seas and open oceans, where it can become entangled in corals and interfere with other sea-floor life, or even become buried under sediment, making clean-up extremely difficult, especially due to the wide area of its dispersal compared to shipwrecks. Plastics that are normally negatively buoyant can sink due to phytoplankton adherence and the aggregation of other organic particles. Other oceanic processes that influence circulation, such as coastal storms and offshore convection, contribute to the transfer of large amounts of particles and debris. Submarine topographic features can also enhance downwelling currents, resulting in microplastic retention.
Humber Bay is a lake Ontario bay located south of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It’s between Ontario Place on the east and Mimico Creek on the west. The bay is the inspiration for Etobicoke’s Humber Bay neighbourhood.
However, the UN estimated in 2017 that if significant measures are not taken, there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish by 2050. Sad!
It seems pretty simple – clean up after yourself and use trash cans, not the lake!