Did you know...
*In a one-week trip, a typical cruise ship generates about 210,000 gallons of sewage. This sewage is routinely dumped overboard in the ocean.
*The Internatinal Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) permits the discharge of sewage beyond twelve miles; treated sewage may be discharged beyond four miles. However, these regulations are not in effect because it has yet to be ratified by 50% of the world tonnage--to date it has been ratified by 75 states constituting 43% of world tonnage. MARPOL also regulates disposal of garbage. With the exception of plastics, food wastes and all other garbage may be discharged twelve miles from shore. If the food waste and garbage is ground and can pass through a 25mm screen, it may be discharged three miles from shore.
*The cruise industry has a consistent record of negative impacts on the health and safety of the water, air, and marine life in their traffic lanes and ports of call, with 490 safety and environmental violations between 1993 and 1998, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, and dozens of confirmed cases of illegal discharges from 1993-2001, resulting in approximately $50 million in criminal penalties. These illegal discharges ranged from plastic bags of garbage, raw sewage (black water), grey water, oily bilge water, and hazardous waste including dry cleaning fluids, photographic chemicals, and solvents. As a matter of policy and without regulation, cruise ships also routinely dump ballast water, along with thousands of non-native species, into local ports of call.
So what's my point? Cruising is great, but it must be done responsibly in order to preserve this home we call Earth. Cruise lines must be held accountable by the people who enjoy their services. A group is forming to do just that. The group is called Cruise Line passengers for Environmental Accountability Now (CLEAN), and you are invited to join. Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
, and you will be a member. As a member, you will be kept up-to-date on which cruise lines are really environmentally friendly and which are not, and you will get tips on what you can do to encourage your favorite line to be more responsible. Thanks!
*All facts taken from www.cruisejunkie.com