Marine Pollution: What Everyone Needs to Know®

ISBN : 9780199996681

Judith S. Weis
296 Pages
141 x 209 mm
Pub date
Jan 2015
What Everyone Needs to Know


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  • An engaging overview of the many facets of marine pollution, written in a lively question & answer format
  • Covers major historical instances of pollution, such as the Exxon Valdez.
  • Presents ideas on how to fix many of the pollution-related issues surrounding marine ecosystems.

Marine pollution occurs today in varied forms--chemical, industrial, and agricultural-and the sources of pollution are endless. In recent history, we've seen oil spills, untreated sewage, eutrophication, invasive species, heavy metals, acidification, radioactive substances, marine litter, and overfishing, among other significant problems. Though marine pollution has long been a topic of concern, it has very recently exploded in environmental, economic, and political debate circles; scientists and non-scientists alike continue to be shocked and dismayed at the sheer diversity of water pollutants and the many ways they can come to harm our environment and our bodies. 

In Marine Pollution: What Everyone Needs to Know, Judith Weis covers marine pollution from numerous angles, each fascinating in its own right. Beginning with its sources and history, she discusses common pollutants, why they are harmful, why they cause controversy, and how we can prevent them from destroying our aquatic ecosystems. Questions ask what actually happened with the Exxon Valdez, and why harmful algal blooms are a serious concern. Covering pollutants that are only now surfacing as major threats, such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and metal nanoparticles, she explains how these can begin in the water and progress up the food chain to emerge in human bodies. Looking at the effects of climate change and acidification on marine pollution levels, we learn how we can begin to reduce pollution at the local and global levels.


"Marine Pollution is a great tutorial as well as a great source for the general public." -- Atlantic Estuarine Research Society (AESR) News

"Given the coverage of marine pollution related to oil spills, this book is timely and pertinent. ... It is a one-stop-shop for interested laypeople; it is also suitable for policy makers and students. Recommended." --Choice

"As a researcher I found this book to be very useful. Every marine scientist is inescapably confronted with marine pollution, but only a few specialists can maintain an overview of the full range of threats. I found the best use of the book to be to work from its index: pick a topic, find the page(s) and be up to speed in seconds" - Michael Stachowitsch, Department of Limnology and Bio-Oceanography, University of Vienna


Pesticides and Industrial Chemicals
Emerging Concerns
Bioaccumulation and Biomagnification
Climate Change and Ocean Acidification
Biological Pollution
Reducing Pollution

About the author: 

Judith Weis is Professor of Biological Sciences at Rutgers University. Her research focuses on the effects of stressors like environmental contaminants, invasive species, and parasites on the behavior and ecology of estuarine organisms. She is the author of Salt Marshes: A Natural and Unnatural HistoryDo Fish Sleep?, and Walking Sideways: The Remarkable World of Crabs.

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