The Effects Of Tourism In The Florida Keys

1378 Words 6 Pages
Growing up in the Florida Keys, I have been surrounded by the ocean my entire life and have personally witnessed it gradually get destroyed over the years. Because of tourism playing a huge role in the Florida keys, our beaches and oceans are left polluted and leaving our reefs to extinction. Not only in the Keys, but throughout Florida our waters are heavily polluted by the great amount of tourism in our state. In the Florida Keys and the Caribbean, there has been a vast decline in staghorn and elkhorn corals leaving the reefs scattered since the 70’s. As I continued to observe and research this topic, I noticed that humans overlook the effects that they cause and focus on the benefits they receive. The negative human impacts on the ocean …show more content…
The first threat to the reefs is the pollution caused by humans or careless tourism. When there is careless boating, diving, snorkeling and fishing, with the touching of the reefs, trash flying off boats and some resorts empty their sewage or other wastes directly into the water surrounding the reefs, our ocean/reefs face damages and extinction. Coral reefs need clean, clear water to survive and when pollutants enter the ocean, it smothers the reefs. This can cause the speed the growth of damaging algae and lower the water quality. It can also make corals more vulnerable to diseases, slow coral growth and reproduction and changes the food structure on the reefs. Fishing may not seem like a negative factor that harms the ocean or reefs but poisons like cyanide are dumped into the water to stun fish and make them easier to capture. When fishing with cyanide, it often kills fish, corals, and other forms of wildlife, while degrading the reef habitat itself. In the Caribbean, approximately 80 percent of ocean pollution comes from activities on land. As human populations grow in coastal areas, development makes changes to the landscape, increasing runoff from the land. Runoff can often carry large quantities of sediment from high levels of nutrients from agricultural areas, land-clearing, and sewage outflows, and pollutants such as …show more content…
“Runoff carries nutrients sediments, and pollution from land-based sources and deposits them directly onto our reefs.(http://wwf.panda.org/).” Too many nutrients create algal growth creating a decrease in oxygen levels leading to the condition, Eutrophication. Erosion by construction, inland or along coasts, mining, logging and farming increases sediment in rivers. This then ends up in the ocean where it smothers corals by trapping them from the light which is needed to survive. Sedimentation limits the light ability to the corals inhibiting their ability to feed and reproduce. Sewage and untreated wastewater carry a deadly bacteria and pathogen that can infect and kill corals. Hotels and resorts can discharge untreated sewage and wastewater into the ocean, creating a growth of algae creating a competition for space with corals. Dredging activities to make marinas or deep-water channels causes sensitive habitats to be destroyed or disturbed and from the waste of the dumping in the ocean. Research shows that humans in fact contribute a lot to the destruction of the coral reefs and is an issue that needs to be resolved in a short matter of time. There are many possible ways to protect, but

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