How Can I Help Keep Our Mid-Atlantic Coastal Waters Clean?
On this page
The most effective way to reduce pollution of coastal waters is through prevention. While efforts such as improving sewage treatment plants and stopping direct discharges of raw sewage into the water are the responsibility of local governments, there are a number of things individuals can do to help:
- conserve water
- dispose of boat sewage in onshore sanitary facilities
- properly dispose of animal waste from pets; do not leave it on the ground or throw it down a storm drain
- use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly and correctly; compost organic waste
- get involved in a local beach clean-up effort
- participate in EPA's Citizen's Volunteer Monitoring Program
- help restore disturbed areas with native vegetation
- properly dispose of toxic substances like oil-based paint and paint thinners, automotive fluids and batteries, and cleaning products by taking them to household hazardous waste collection days or appropriate collection sites (note that when motor oil is poured onto soil, 4/5 ths of that oil continues down into the groundwater, contaminating it; then that groundwater makes it way into rivers and estuaries, and eventually into coastal waters)
- maintain your septic tank if you have one with frequent pumping, proper drain field maintenance, and careful waste disposal; this will prolong the life of your system and prevent discharge of untreated sewage to ground and surface waters by allowing adequate time for the breakdown of organics
- pick up litter when you see it and properly dispose of your trash to help reduce marine debris
Oceanography is a multidisciplinary science, combining knowledge from many fields such as biology, geology, chemistry, physics, and engineering. Most jobs in oceanography require a college degree. If you are a person who likes many of the sciences, oceanography may be for you.
Because many jobs in oceanography require trips on ships, boating experience and a high tolerance to motion sickness is desirable. Certification as a scuba diver is also helpful.
Many oceanographers work for the government, for non-profit organizations, and for universities teaching or doing research. Corporations also hire oceanographers to help explore for oil off-shore, to help design equipment used in the ocean, to help develop new medicines from materials found in the ocean, etc.
Learn more about becoming an oceanographer:
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institutionis a private, non-profit research institution for the marine sciences and the training of marine scientists.