This study investigates emerging anthropogenic pollution problems threatening coastal and open ocean habitats. Five problems are considered, including inadequately treated sewage. The paper focused on sewage pollution in the Mexican Caribbean, where sewage discharge has caused significant eutrophication. The level of treatment is correlated with the severity of sewage pollution. This discussion also explains how the geology of an area can increase transport of sewage pollution into the ocean, in this case direct injection of sewage through underground aquifers. The detriment of sewage pollution on coral reefs highlights the need for improved management, including laws requiring for tertiary treatment, as population and tourism increase. In addition, the study advocates for interdisciplinary strategies, from technology to remediation, to prevent future pollution and conserving coastal ecosystems and the resources they provide. The paper also calls for an enhanced effort to establish a coordinated international framework for management and mitigation of pollution to support localized responses.

Authors: Häder, D.P., A.T. Banaszak, V.E. Villafañe, M.A. Narvarte, R.A. González, and E.W. Helbling, and E. Walter
Year: 2020
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Science of The Total Environment 713. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.136586

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