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Have you ever thought about where all waste and discarded toxic chemicals end up? These things don’t just disappear; they end up somewhere and that somewhere is usually the ocean. Water pollution is when toxic waste or garbage gets into bodies of water. You can find water pollution in oceans, lakes, ponds, and rivers. There are two types of water pollution; natural and unnatural. Some natural water pollutants are volcanic eruptions, animal waste, residue from storms or floods, and algae blooms. On the other hand, unnatural water pollutants are caused by humans. Some of these include oil spills, fossil fuels, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and waste from factories and construction sites. Every day, our garbage and sewage is dumped into large bodies of water, harming our earth. It is estimated that around 14 billion pounds of trash are dumped into the ocean every single year, and most of this trash is plastic. 

Water pollution also harms many species, some of which are animals, humans and plants. All of them depend on water to survive. Some animal species that are affected by water pollution are fish, crabs, birds, and dolphins. When these animals are harmed or killed, the food chain is also disrupted. Animals who either depend on other animals or plants can die from their food being polluted. They can also die from not having enough food because their main source of food is killed off from water pollution. When we throw waste into oceans, we are not taking into consideration that it could end up in our drinking water, too. When humans consume this polluted water, they can develop diseases. Some of these diseases include hepatitis and, in poorer communities, breakout of cholera. Plants are also affected because they rely on water and sunlight. Whether they are growing in bodies of water or near them, they can still get polluted. 

There are many people and organizations dedicated to helping this problem, and you can help too! We can help resolve this problem by protecting clean water sources, picking up trash, making sure to put trash in the correct waste bin, not overusing pesticides, not pouring chemicals, oils, or medicines down the drain, and most importantly, spreading awareness so others can help too. Some ways to save water are taking shorter showers, turning off running water when not in use, and checking for leaks occasionally. Make sure to always pick up trash, especially when near bodies of water. But keep in mind even if you are not near water, the rain can always wash it into the ocean. In time, the trash will pollute the water. Water pollution is an ongoing problem that is not going to stop unless we do something about it. Just remember that waste going into bodies of water will eventually  harm animals, kill plants, and can end up inside of us. All in all, water is a very important factor of living beings’ lives. If we take it for granted, we could put many species in danger as well as ourselves. So let’s take action and make a difference.

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