View site #952 > ScoreCard for survey #1 > Issue
Introduction | Identification | Impacts | Causes | Actions | More Info
|What are the first steps to addressing this problem?|
Understand the situation. Examine past and current attempts to solve this issue and whether these actions have been effective. You can get a sense of whether industrial pollution is regulated by simply talking to people in the community and government officials.
Link industrial pollution with other management actions. Review the management questions in the Reef Check survey to identify whether there are management regulations in place and if they are being enforced. The goal is to bring all parts of society and government together to plan how coastal resources will be used or protected. To understand how actions by citizens and the government can be part of a joint effort to manage coral reefs, review the fact sheet on ‘Integrated Coastal Management’.
How can we solve this problem?
National development and employment priorities often lead to rapid industrial development with few environmental regulations in place. In addition, people are often unaware that industrial pollutants can contaminate marine life and eventually affect their health through the seafood they eat. Therefore, by educating communities on both the environmental and human health issues related to industrial pollution, local citizens and government officials will be better able to regulate these types of inputs into the marine environment. Unfortunately however, strong regulatory programs are needed to control where industrial facilities are located and also regulate the discharge of industrial pollutants into the marine environment.
What can a concerned citizen do to help?
There are several actions that any individual can do to help decrease impacts from industrial pollution on coral reefs. These include:
Educate local communities about the toxic effects of industrial pollutants to coral reefs and to humans that consume contaminated fish and invertebrates. Raising awareness of the link between industrial pollutants and human illness will no doubt influence communities to enact stricter regulations for industrial discharges.
Raise awareness that dumping household, automotive, or gardening wastes into storm drains or streams may eventually find their way onto local reefs.
Where other alternatives are possible, urge businesses and government officials to stop ocean dumping of industrial pollutants.
What can managers and decision-makers do to help?
In addition to the above management recommendations for a concerned citizen, resource managers, and decision-makers may have additional means available to them to decrease the impacts industrial pollution has on coral reefs. These include:
Identify the potential sources of industrial pollutants.
Identify what type of industrial pollutants are present in existing discharges to local reef systems.
Ensure proper treatment and disposal of industrial wastes. Encourage locals to take motor oil, paints, and other hazardous household materials to proper collection sites, such as approved service stations or designated landfills. Also encourage citizens to follow label directions for the use and disposal of household chemicals.
Increase awareness about the effects of industrial pollutants on local coral reefs and reef species and the potential human health risks associated with consuming contaminated resources.
Provide technical assistance for better treatment of industrial discharge.
Establish water quality standards for industrial discharge and monitoring programs. See "Water quality management: Coral reefs" by J.R. Clark (1996) for guidelines.
Enforce established standards.
Construct catchment basins for mine tailings and runoff.
Consider land use planning and zoning of industry and mining away from sensitive coral reefs and waterways leading to these reefs.
Charge industry a fee related to the amount of waste they produce to encourage them to decrease their discharge volumes.
Where other alternatives are possible, stop ocean dumping of industrial pollutants.
|Mangrove damaged due to mine tailings.
Location: Marinduque, Philippines
Photo by: J.W. McManus
(from ReefBase: http://www.reefbase.org)|