The oceans are so vast and deep that until fairly recently, it was widely assumed that no matter how much trash and chemicals humans dumped into them, the effects would be negligible. Proponents of dumping in the oceans even had a catchphrase: “The solution to pollution is dilution.”

Today, we need look no further than the New Jersey-size dead zone that forms each summer in the Mississippi River Delta, or the thousand-mile-wide swath of decomposing plastic in the northern Pacific Ocean to see that this “dilution” policy has helped place a once flourishing ocean ecosystem on the brink of collapse.

Pollution’s Many Forms

There is evidence that the oceans have suffered at the hands of mankind for millennia, as far back as Roman times. But recent studies show that degradation, particularly of shoreline areas, has accelerated dramatically in the past three centuries as industrial discharge and runoff from farms and coastal cities has increased.

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The sex life of Florida’s favorite seagrass-munching mammal was on display Monday afternoon, as a dozen manatees gathered to mate on the surf in Pompano Beach.

A crowd gathered, kept at a respectful distance by lifeguards and Broward Sheriff’s deputies, as the manatees engaged in mating behavior that involved a cluster of males chasing a female into shallow water. The males bumped each other for position, trying to climb onto the female, in sluggish, manatee-like manner, their whiskered snouts protruding from the water.

“It’s awesome,” said Gabrielle Mento, 23, of Fort Lauderdale, who came to the beach with her boyfriend Domenic Zenga, after seeing the manatees on the news. “It’s amazing to see that.”

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July 20 –  Cleaned up three more bags by the Kennedy park waterfront.

July 18 – cleaned up Kennedy park by the volleyball courts. We picked up 5 bags of garbage in 98 degree weather. Each bag equals 30 lbs of trash by the edge of the water inside the red mangroves.

July 17 – we cleaned up 5 bags with the red bucket at peacock park north beach.

July 14 – at peacock park picked up 8 bags of  garbage by the mangroves on the waters edge.

Photos of the cleanup

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