Example Of Essay On Polluted Beaches And Public Health
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POLLUTED BEACHES AND PUBLIC HEALTH Author 2
When individuals intend on spending time at the beach, the last thing they are considering is if the water is polluted. After all, isn’t the point to spend time in the outdoors, enjoying all that nature has provided? Unfortunately, over the last decade, pollution at beaches has become an issue. According to the National Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) website (n.d.), “your local beach might be contaminated by human or animal waste, putting your health at risk: bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens in that waste can make exposed swimmers sick.” In addition, the NRDC (n.d.) claims, “the largest known contributor to beach closings or health advisory days has historically been stormwater pollution. Untreated sewage spills and overflows are also frequently to blame.” So how can the quality of the water at our beaches be sustained and restored for our recreational use? Through the American legal system, some alterations in policy and through our own diligence.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the primary legal organization that regulates beach pollution. The NRDA claims the EPA “missed the boat” so-to-speak in 2012 when it failed to adequately address bacteria levels in beach water. At that time, however, the EPA did provide funds to states for water testing within the confines of the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act (NRDA, n.d.). This legislation establishes a specific threshold for water quality pertaining to bacteria levels for national beaches. If these levels are surpassed a swimming advisory is produced. The EPA feels the BAV is a “conservative, precautionary tool for making beach notification decisions.” Subsequently state and local officials should look to these levels as a guide in order to properly decide what is safe for their constituents.
Another major source of beach pollution is raw sewage or untreated sewage. From the writer’s personal experience with this issue, this waste ultimately pollutes water sources because the municipal sewer systems are decaying, outdated and exceptionally expensive to modify. Again, from personal experience, the sewer system where this writer resided in Cincinnati, OH, was built shortly after World War II and would cost $11 billion to repair over two decades. In fact, the NRDC (n.d.) states, “Repairing these aging and malfunctioning sewage systems comes at a hefty cost. On the national level, it is estimated that $298 billion in capital investments will be needed to repair our wastewater and stormwater systems over the next 20 years.” Therefore, it appears the only solution is for people to realize the funds must be generated to protect ourselves from pollution and for testing. In addition, the legal system must effectively enforce regulations on pollution at beaches even if it involves large corporations with extensive power economically. Public health should be the nations’ top concern and not whether our economy can keep up with China. Clean water is essential for survival and should be enjoyed freely for recreational use.
POLLUTED BEACHES AND PUBLIC HEALTH Author 4
CBS News. (2015). Top 10 Dirtiest Beaches in America. Retrieved from
Environmental Protective Agency. (n.d.). Beaches. Retrieved from
Testing the Waters. National Resources Defense Council. N.d. Retrieved from
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