Fight Pollution and Sewage From Cruise Ships

Target: EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy

Goal: Increase restrictions on untreated sewage and fuel pollutants coming from cruise ships.

Marine environments including coral reefs are being damaged by pollutants from cruise ships. Companies that send out these ships have long been given a free pass from environmental restrictions, allowing inadequately treated sewage from the many passengers to be dumped into ocean waters. Most of these ships also still use polluting fossil fuels for power.

The pollutants from cruise ships have been causing massive algae blooms. When this happens, affected ecosystems can be destabilized by a lack of oxygen. Manatees in particular are vulnerable to this problem. Experts have found that 150 manatee deaths around Florida have been caused by algae blooms like this. Whales and sea turtles can also be negatively affected.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can increase restrictions on the amount of pollution cruise ships are allowed to emit and require these companies to better treat any sewage released into the ocean. Sign our petition to demand that the EPA does its job and pass new regulations for the pollutants released by cruise ships to protect vulnerable marine species.


Dear Administrator McCarthy,

Recent studies have found that cruise ships pump alarming amounts of pollutants into the water, including inadequately treated sewage and dirty fuels. For some reason, the EPA doesn’t appear to feel the need to regulate these pollutants much if they’re coming out of cruise ships. This needs to change, as sewage and fuel contaminants are causing massive algae blooms that are harming marine animals and disrupting ecosystems.

If sewage needs to be properly treated when coming out of homes and businesses on land, why would it need to be similarly treated if being dumped directly from cruise ships and into the oceans? Algae blooms from these pollutants have been linked to the deaths of around 150 manatees around the Florida coast. Other species that can be affected include endangered whales and sea turtles. Coral reefs are also very vulnerable to this problem.

We’ve seen enough destruction of coral reefs and other marine environments in the past decades. Manatees continue to face the risk of extinction due to humans not doing enough to protect them. We demand that you come up with a strict regulation plan to ensure that cruise ships transition to clean fuel sources and properly treat any sewage that comes out of them.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Ramos Keith

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