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Preventing the Impending Oceanic Apocalypse

Updated: Feb 14, 2022

By: Jacob Goodman, B.S/M.A. Candidate; Dr. Brittany Foutz; Dr. Brian Polkinghorn.

Sunset by docks. Clouds and pale orange/blue light reflecting in the water.

The world's oceans are under threat of becoming ecological dead zones for marine life. Present throughout this article from the authors are arguments of why garbage patches are harming marine life and underwater ecosystems and pose a threat to the global water supply for humans. In addition to the oceanic garbage patch problem, this article also focuses on industries known for causing excess pollution, such as the petrochemical and poultry industry, both of which pose a significant threat to water distribution networks in cities throughout the world. Finally, this article explicitly addresses regional environmental challenges and efforts faced and undertaken by the Eastern Shore and Delmarva Peninsula, the spread of pollutants and formation of garbage patches nationally and internationally, national and United Nations (UN) endeavors to address the significant threat to society posed by water pollution and marine debris, and proposed solutions to mitigate the imminent oceanic catastrophe. In this article, specifically, local environmental efforts will be explored through Ocean City's Compost Program, the toxicity of the Chesapeake Bay, local wastewater management, the chicken farming industry's waste runoff, and the formation of the North Atlantic Garbage Patch.

Jake is a Graduate Student in Salisbury University's Department of Conflict Analysis and Dispute Resolution Program in Salisbury, Maryland, U.S.A. For inquiries into the program, see here. Brittany Foutz is a Visiting Professor in the Department. Dr. Brian Polkinghorn is a Distinguished Professor of Conflict Analysis and Dispute Resolution, also, within the Dept. and the Executive Director of the Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution.

Many thanks to Graduate Student of Conflict Analysis and Dispute Resolution Alison Wright, B.A., and Undergraduate Student of Early Childhood Education Emma Chapple for the production of the included video.

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