If nutrient rich topsoil and subsoil run off, they cannot be replaced. The runoff is devastating
for both plant and aquatic life.
The plants cannot grow in the rocky, nutrient-poor subsoil. The soil and its nutrients cause
eutrophication of aquatic ecosystems, filling them in partially or completely and causing excess plant life to choke off the
This damage occurs not only in freshwater ecosystems, but in marine ecosystems and coral reefs as
well, forever dimming or snuffing their beauty.
Environmental damage occurs not only from soil runoff, but from soil contamination as well. Chemicals
are dumped into the earth from mining and other industrial waste disposal. These then in turn contaminate the plants that
grow in the soil, seep into the drinking water, and also run off into aquatic ecosystems. This is known as non-point-source
pollution. For more information on the soil contamination caused by mining visit our mineral resources section.
This pollution contaminates aquatic wildlife and is passed up the foodchain in greater concentrations.
It often enters the human body through the fish and shellfish we eat.
To learn more about the soil and its interrelation with water and plants click on the links below.