Retired Professor Dr. David Hastings Offers an Expert Look at Marine Environmental Pollution and Its Devastating Impact on the World’s Oceans
Gainesville, FL - ( NewMediaWire ) - September 1, 2020 - With the potential to substantially degrade the world’s oceans and seriously harm marine wildlife populations in every ocean basin, continuing environmental pollution is forcing experts to take a new stand as the effects become more apparent. A marine science expert, retired college professor Dr. David Hastings presents a worrying overview of the case in hand after a study that he and his team discovered billions of microplastic particles polluting the waters of Tampa Bay, Florida.
Marine environmental pollution occurs when harmful contaminants enter the planet’s oceans, including chemicals, microplastic particles, and industrial, agricultural and residential waste. According to retired Eckerd College professor Dr. David Hastings, most of the pollution entering the marine environment comes from land. “Air pollution is a contributing factor, too,” adds the expert, speaking from his home in Gainesville, Florida, “carrying off pesticides and other contaminants into the ocean.”
One source of marine environmental pollution around the world is agricultural runoff, Dr. David Hastings reports. “When heavy metals, agricultural pesticides and organic pollutants are introduced into the marine ecosystem, they can enter the food chain,” reveals the retired Eckerd College professor, “causing changes in species distribution, diseases, and behaviour changes, potentially harmful to the marine food web.”
Research, Dr. David Hastings says, has clearly demonstrated how toxins, heavy metals, and endocrine disruptors, for example, introduced into the marine food chain via environmental pollution, can result in direct changes to reproduction and behavior, as well as causing changes in lifespan and significantly changing growth in marine life.
Late last year, Dr. Hastings revealed how billions of microplastic particles were discovered in the waters of Tampa Bay, Florida. A marine science expert, Dr. David Hastings has led regular research cruises in Tampa Bay for more than a decade. Noticing many small pieces of plastic appearing during the routine collection of plankton and water samples, Dr. Hastings conducted a study that would ultimately point toward the true scale of microplastic pollution within the natural estuarine waters.
Discovering evidence of some four billion microplastic particles in the process, it is hoped, says Dr. David Hastings, that, following his study, greater calls for action surrounding marine conservation in the Tampa Bay area will be brought about.
Indeed, as part of concerted global efforts to protect the world’s oceans from ongoing pollution, policies continue to be developed internationally, according to Dr. Hastings. “With so many ways for the world’s oceans to become polluted, it is imperative that all manner of local and national policies, international laws, and treaties continue to be put into place,” suggests Dr. David Hastings. In conclusion he states: “We need to enact good policy based on sound science, if we are to prevent further harmful marine environmental pollution.”
Dr. David Hastings is a marine geochemist, chemical oceanographer, and retired college professor. Dr. Hastings landed on the shores of Tampa Bay, Florida, in 2000 to teach marine science, environmental science, and chemistry at Eckerd College, a prestigious liberal arts college in nearby St. Petersburg. Passionate about conservation, Dr. David Hastings firmly believes in the importance of scientists actively engaging in policy conversations to ensure the future of the planet and its oceans, and in the imperative nature of taking direct action to combat ongoing damage to the world’s precious marine environments.