I’ve written about the disgusting waste issues surrounding the cruise industry before, but this article from the Gambit Weekly (New Orleans) goes into gross detail. Cruise ships can dump greywater (from showers, sinks, pools, etc.) into ocean waters anywhere they want. They can dump treated blackwater (from toilets) into ocean waters anywhere they want. They can dump untreated blackwater 3 or more miles offshore.

A single cruise ship generates 30,000 gallons of blackwater and 255,000 gallons of greywater every day. That’s 285,000 gallons of sewage dumped into the sea every day by just one ship. Given the number of cruise ships circling the globe at any given time, that’s not just icky — it’s a danger to the environment. Fecal bacterial and small fecal particles have a huge impact on microscopic marine life — the foundation of the world’s foodchain.

Recent changes in how the 1972 Clean Water Act is enforced mean that even more sewage can be dumped even closer to shore — I can’t bear to think about the levels of fecal bacteria in the water at popular swimming beaches near cruise ship ports. The disgusting things we do to our environment are only rivaled by the disgusting things we do to ourselves — how can we live like this?

Posted on November 18th, 2003 by Katxena