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14

Lastly, acid rain is a dangerous component of water pollution. Acid rain is "the deposit of

airborne acidic material from sources such as coal-burning power plants both as wet precipitation

(rain, snow, fog, and clouds) and dry precipitation (dust and gases). The burning of fossil fuels

releases sulfur and nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere, which are converted to sulfuric and

nitric acids. Among other things, acid deposition is responsible for the documented loss of

millions of trees and hundreds of fish populations in Europe and North America."3 5

Biological pollutants are "invasive, non-native plants, animals, insects, and other living

organisms"3 6

that enter an ecosystem. One popular method of entry is via ships' ballasts; thus,

leading to "forty thousand gallons of foreign water [being] pumped into U.S. waters every

minute [bringing] thousands of species of marine life from foreign shores."3 7

Another way

invasive species have been introduced to foreign waters is via drains. When a fish tank with

exotic contents is cleaned, and the water poured down the drain, any remnant from the tank can

make its way into the ocean. It is believed that the Caulerpa taxifolia, a laboratory-bred algae

that spreads in epidemic proportions, entered the waters of the Mediterranean Sea and California

coast in this manner. Other examples of invasive species include the Australian spotted jellyfish

in the Gulf of Mexico, the Lionfish in the western Atlantic Ocean, and the snakehead in the

Southeast of the United States.3 8

Industrial pollution is one major component of water pollution. "Some 370,000

manufacturing facilities use huge quantities of freshwater to carry away wastes of many kinds.

The waste-bearing water, or effluent, is discharged into streams, lakes, or oceans, which in turn

IMAGE imgs/MsoDockBottom05.gif
35 http://eces.org/ec/pollution/acidrain.shtml.
36 http://www.ag.arizona.edu/yavapai/anr/hort/byg/archive/biologicalpollution.html. 37 http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2001/01/bioinvasion2_2001-01-25/html. 38 http://www.rbff-education.org/cgi-bin/search/rbff.cgi?ID=981162220.