Oil Pollution Primarily Caused by Consumer Actions

The daily operations of consumers and industries account for the vast majority of oil pollution in our seas. This includes oil and gasoline that drips from cars and trucks, and oil runoff and pollution from land-based sources such as factories, farms, and cities. We need to and have the power to solve these issues, not just prevent and treat the headline-grabbing oil spills.
People Impacted
$ 76B
Potential Funding
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the problem
Nature and Context

Nearly half of the estimated 1 million tons of oil that makes its way into marine environments each year comes not from tanker spills but from land-based sources such as factories, farms, cities and individual cars and trucks. Tanker spills account for only about 10 percent of the oil in waters around the world, while regular operations of the shipping industry—through both legal and illegal discharges—contribute about one-third.

Though this occurs around the globe and in all states, those states primarily impacted by land-based oil spills in 2019 were CA, TX, LA, VA, WV, NJ, NY and MA.

the impact
Negative Effects
  • Destruction of marine life and ecosystems

  • Direct and indirect effects on air and land systems

  • Harm to lands and non-coastal waterways

Data Sources
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