Environmental issues

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES 1

Environmentalissues

Nameof author

Thecoastal regions globally are being affected environmentally leadingto loss of species and degradation. Increase in human population inthe coastal region has impacted negatively on the environment throughpollution. Sources of pollution include residential and industrialactivities such as emission of greenhouse gas GHG, sewer pipelinesthat leads to the ocean and fertilizer run off from agriculturalfarms. The environment in coastal regions is also affected by oilspills, dredging of the coral reefs and other non-human activities[ CITATION Vik15 l 1033 ].

Halifax,in Nova Scotia for instance provides numerous marine resources,agricultural land that is fertile, in addition to trade andtransport. As shown in Table 1 below, the region has significantlyhigh population densities in comparison to the whole Nova Scotiaprovince.

Halifax (Census subdivision)

Nova Scotia (Province)

Population

390096

921727

Population in 2006

372679

913462

Population change between 2006 and 2011

4.7

0.9

Total private dwellings

177160

442155

Private dwellings occupied by usual residents

165033

390279

Population density per square kilometer

71.1

17.4

Table1: Population in Halifax, Nova Scotia[CITATION Gov l 1033 ]

Aprivate dwelling must be enclosed space with walls and a roof and bydoors and windows to provide shelter from elements such as wind, rainand snow. The discharge of untreated sewage from these privatedwellings results to abundant nutrients spreading into the oceancausing human health risks. The discharge of sewage and effluent inthe ocean and seas results in reduced levels of oxygen and decay ofplant life.

Inaddition, these set of living quarters designed for human habitationshould have a source of heat or power. The table below shows thesecondary energy use and GHG emissions by energy source.

Energy Source

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Electricity

15.0

15.2

15.3

15.0

15.4

15.1

Natural gas

0.0

0.0

0.4

0.2

0.1

0.1

Heating oil

21.1

21.2

21.4

21.5

24.8

21.5

Other

1.0

1.1

1.1

1.1

0.9

0.7

Wood

9.1

10.3

9.6

10.6

11.0

11.5

Table2: Secondary energy use in Nova Scotia[ CITATION Nat12 l 1033 ]

Thegraph below shows that there has been a rise in the use of secondaryenergy over the years in Nova Scotia. Combustion of fossil fuels anddeforestation increases carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. Thishas caused increase in ocean temperature and sea level and reductionof the ice in the seas therefore affecting marine life.

Figure1: Secondary energy use in Nova Scotia

GHGEmissions by Energy Source

Energy Source

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Electricity

Natural gas

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Heating oil

1.5

1.5

1.5

1.5

1.7

1.5

Other

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.0

Wood

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

Table3: GHG Emissions by energy source[ CITATION Nat12 l 1033 ]

Asshown in the Figure 2 below, heating oil has significantly highemissions compared to other sources of energy. This indicates thatuse of renewable sources of energy rather than fossil fuels willalleviate the detrimental effects.

Figure2: GHG Emissions by energy source

Sincethe 2006 census, there is an increase of 2.9% of farms in Nova Scotiaaccording to the Canada’s statistics 2011 census as shown in tablebelow. Increase in agricultural farms has negative impacts on theenvironment. One major impact is accumulation of nitrogen mainly inform of nitrate and ammonium, and organic carbon in the ocean, whichis referred to as eutrophication and is from agricultural run-offs.The use of insecticides and pesticides in the farm land contributesto pollution. The increased levels of nutrients in the water bodiesresults to increase in phytoplankton. The oxygen levels in the watermay also get depleted causing death to marine and aquatic life.

Farm type

Number

Beef cattle

441

Dairy cattle

257

Hog

21

Poultry and egg

156

Sheep

80

Goat

24

Horse and other equine

199

Fur

128

Other animal

223

Grain and oil seed

50

Vegetable and melon farming

140

Fruit and tree nut

971

Green house, nursery and floriculture

550

Maple

35

Other crop

629

Total

3905

Table4: Nova Scotia Agriculture[ CITATION Nov14 l 1033 ]

Accordingto Municipal and Community Stewardship (2015), there are 31 speciesof plants and animals, 11 being marine, at risk. Loss of marinespecies caused by environmental problems leads to losses in tourismand fisheries. Therefore, issues in the environment may bedetrimental to the economy with increase in poverty levels andmalnutrition.

Taxonomic group

Number of species at risk

Number of species listed under the Nova Scotia’s Endangered species Act

Mammals

5

3

Birds

7

5

Reptiles

3

3

Fish

2

1

Plants

12

11

Lichens

1

1

Molluscs

1

0

Totals

31

24

Table5: Species at risk in Nova Scotia [ CITATION Mun151 l 1033 ]

Figure3: Comparison between species at risk and the number of species underthe Nova Scotia’s endangered species Act.

Asseen on the graph above, there are less species under the NovaScotia’s Act compared to the total number of species at risk. Thereis need to establish policies that will be effective in management ofthe environment in coastal regions. Moreover, marine reserves can beestablished to protect the marine ecosystems and combat furtherextinction of species.

Thedata from the sources are reliable and are not in any way subject tobias. Collection of the data and its analysis was mainly done by thelocal government of the region such as the Municipal stewardship andthe Government of Canada to determine the population of the region inaddition to the economic activities in the region that would have aneffect on the environment. This indicates that there was no conflictof interest. From my team’s perspective, the environmental issue inthe coastal region needs to be addressed to prevent further damage tothe marine ecosystem.

Inconclusion, environmental issues in the coastal regions hassubstantial adverse effects on the marine life. These issues aremainly caused by human activities as discussed. It is important thateffective policies and laws should be put in place to minimize theeffects of pollution. Awareness need to be created among the peopleon the importance of conservation and demerits of pollution.

References

Government of Canada. (2011). Statistics Canada. Retrieved from Census Profile: http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2011/dp-pd/prof/details/page.cfm?Lang=E&ampGeo1=CSD&ampCode1=1209034&ampGeo2=PR&ampCode2=12&ampData=Count&ampSearchText=Halifax&ampSearchType=Begins&ampSearchPR=01&ampB1=All&ampCustom=&ampTABID=1

Municipal and Community Stewardship. (2015). Conservation and Recovery of Nova Scotia`s Species at Risk. Retrieved from Species at Risk in Nova Scotia: http://www.speciesatrisk.ca/municipalities/sar_ns.htm#definitions

Municipal and Community Stewardship. (2015). Species at risk in Nova Scotia. Retrieved from Conservation and Revovery of Nova Scotia`s Species at Risk: http://www.speciesatrisk.ca/municipalities/sar_ns.htm

Natural Resources Canada. (2012). Comprehensive Energy Use Database. Retrieved from Residential Sector: http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/corporate/statistics/neud/dpa/showTable.cfm?type=CP&ampsector=res&ampjuris=ns&amprn=1&amppage=0

Nova Scotia Canada. (2014). Agricultural Statistics. Retrieved from Nova Scotia Agriculture and Agri-food Snapshot: http://novascotia.ca/agri/programs-and-services/research-and-statistics/agriculture-statistics/

Vikas, M., &amp Dwarakish, G. S. (2015). Coastal Pollution: A Review. Aquatic Procedia, 381-388.