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Copyright (c) 2003 Colorado Journal of Int'l Envt'l Law and Policy
Colorado Journal of International Environmental Law and Policy

COMMENT: Developments in Land-Based Pollution: From Sewer to Shining Sea


2003 COLO. J. INT'L ENVTL. L. & POL'Y 61


Marika Frady


I. Introduction
Oceanic changes traditionally have been measured in centuries rather than decades. 1 However, scientists have recently learned that the oceans are exhibiting change at an accelerated rate due to pollution, technological advances, and population growth. 2 These changes threaten both marine life and people who live near coastal waters. 3 Moreover, current and potential oceanic resources face depletion. 4 The 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea sought an international approach to curtailing activity that may alter the oceans. 5 The convention established a constitution with guidelines for claiming and using the oceans and their resources. 6 While the convention has been ratified by one hundred forty-two countries, the problems with the oceans remain. 7

II. Land-Based Pollution Threatens Global Waters
The 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea asked countries to create laws and guidelines that would regulate land-based pollution and reduce damage to marine life. 8 However, the convention never instituted enforcement mechanisms or penalties for countries that failed to comply. 9 At most, the convention has sparked increased awareness of problems associated with land-based pollution and the potential destruction of marine environments. 10

Land-based pollutants such as river runoff, dredge waste, untreated sewage, and atmospheric toxins pose the greatest threats to the oceans. 11 Waters off the coasts of Asia, West Africa, and the Northwest Pacific are most threatened by untreated sewage. 12 Particularly, in South Asia, over 800 million people have no access to ...
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