August 3rd, 2009
By Harriet Blake
Green Right Now
“Don’t let the vacation ruin the destination.”
These words of wisdom hail from environmentalists who have legitimate concerns about ocean pollution due to cruise ship dumping.
Cruise ship vacations have gained in popularity in the last decade, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, which states that the industry has grown nearly twice as fast as any other means of travel during that time frame. And, at the same time, the average ship size has been growing at about 90 feet every five years. Ships used to average about 3,000 passengers, but today some carry as many as 8,000.
So with larger ships carrying more passengers, there is mounting concern about how this growth will affect the ocean’s marine life and water quality.
Recently the World Wildlife Federation’s Baltic Sea chapter recommended that area ports upgrade their facilities to cope with contamination from cruise ship sewage. The WWF said that Baltic-area ports are not keeping their facilities up-to-date in terms of disposing of cruise ship waste and suggested that the money being made by cruise ship tourism be spent upgrading the facilities, according to a report in the Environmental News Service.