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Free Photos of Pollution on our Oceans, Rivers, Lakes & other Waterways

ollution of our waters affects all of us. Sometimes it is through dangerous contaminants in the water we drink or our seafood swims; it may be visual, or it may clog our water pipes, or kill sea birds and mammals. A lot is being done, but the most benefit comes from educating people about where their trash goes when they discard cigarette butts to the street, or pour their old motor oil down the drain. Many are oblivious to the damage they cause and many do not care. Here are some examples of pollution of lakes, rivers, beaches and the ocean. This is what happens when people don't care.

Degradation of the seas and oceans, particularly, nearshore waters occurs due to the land - and sea-based activities and the concomitant pollution resulting in physical and ecological changes and/or damages such as habitat loss, altered sediment flows and atmospheric changes. Thus, mitigation not only involves cleanup responses but also the application of management measures such as closure or restriction, restoration and rehabilitation. In fisheries, for example, it is now recognized that conservation of fish habitat is an important component of building and maintaining sustainable fisheries.

A number of land-based waste products, notably nutrients and toxic pollutants, exert direct effect on economically or culturally important fish-stocks such as physiological impacts brought about by endocrine disruptors. Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are caused by microalgae, which have negative impacts on human activities, including human health, fisheries, aquaculture and tourism, among others.

In shipping, oil pollution arising from incidence of ship grounding and collision has been a major international concern. In recent years, this concern has also included hazardous and noxious substances (HNS), ballast water discharge and antifouling paints. (Source: UN Atlas of the Oceans)

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Pollution in the Barge Canal, Merritt Island, Florida
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Pollution in the Barge Canal, Merritt Island, Florida

Pollution in the Barge Canal, Merritt Island, Florida
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Pollution in the Barge Canal, Merritt Island, Florida

Mallard duck eating pollution in the Charles River, Boston
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Mallard duck eating pollution in the Charles River, Boston

Pollution in the Charles River, Boston including snack wrappers and condom
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Pollution in the Charles River, Boston including snack wrappers and condom

Warning  	on storm drain in Boise, Idaho
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Warning on storm drain in Boise, Idaho

Dump no Waste. Drains to River. Warning on storm drain in Boise, Idaho
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Dump no Waste. Drains to River. Warning on storm drain in Boise, Idaho

Warning on storm drain in Charlottesville, Virginia
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Warning on storm drain in Charlottesville, Virginia

Algae bloom in Lake Anna, Virgina, USA coloring the water green with swirls, likely due to excessive nutrient runoff from the land
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Algae bloom in Lake Anna, Virgina, USA coloring the water green with swirls, likely due to excessive nutrient runoff from the land

Algae bloom in Lake Anna, Virgina, USA coloring the water green with swirls, likely due to excessive nutrient runoff from the land
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Algae bloom in Lake Anna, Virgina, USA coloring the water green with swirls, likely due to excessive nutrient runoff from the land

Pollution in Scheveningen Harbor near the Hague, Netherlands
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Pollution in Scheveningen Harbor near the Hague, Netherlands

Pollution onshore outside Scheveningen Harbor near the Hague, Netherlands
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Pollution onshore outside Scheveningen Harbor near the Hague, Netherlands

Pollution	on the Fairhaven side of the Fairhaven-New Bedford inner harbor at the high tide line showing debris from fishing boats
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Pollution on the Fairhaven side of the Fairhaven-New Bedford inner harbor at the high tide line showing debris from fishing boats

Pollution on the Fairhaven shore side of the Fairhaven-New Bedford inner harbor
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Pollution on the Fairhaven shore side of the Fairhaven-New Bedford inner harbor

Abandoned fishing net and ropes washed ashore near Abeerdeen, Scotland
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Abandoned fishing net and ropes washed ashore near Abeerdeen, Scotland

Pollution heading to sea in the Tiber River, Rome below the Cestia Bridge
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Pollution heading to sea in the Tiber River, Rome below the Cestia Bridge

Pollution heading to sea in the Tiber River, Rome below the Cestia Bridge
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Pollution heading to sea in the Tiber River, Rome below the Cestia Bridge

Pollution heading to sea in the Tiber River, Rome below the Cestia Bridge
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Pollution heading to sea in the Tiber River, Rome below the Cestia Bridge

Pollution heading to sea in the Tiber River, Rome above the Cestia Bridge
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Pollution heading to sea in the Tiber River, Rome above the Cestia Bridge

Pollution temporarily trapped in the Tiber River, Rome above the Cestia Bridge
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Pollution temporarily trapped in the Tiber River, Rome above the Cestia Bridge

Pollution temporarily trapped in the Tiber River, Rome above the Cestia Bridge
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Pollution temporarily trapped in the Tiber River, Rome above the Cestia Bridge

Pollution heading to sea in the Tiber River, Rome above the Cestia Bridge
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Pollution heading to sea in the Tiber River, Rome above the Cestia Bridge

Pollution heading to sea in the Tiber River, Rome
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Pollution heading to sea in the Tiber River, Rome

Pollution heading to sea in the Tiber River, Rome
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Pollution heading to sea in the Tiber River, Rome

Pollution heading to sea in the Tiber River, Rome
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Pollution heading to sea in the Tiber River, Rome

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This page updated or reviewed in March 2011