Ecosystem Destruction

Massive sand tubes being constructed in Walton County, Florida Massive sand tubes being constructed in Walton County, Florida under the ecologically-appealing euphemism of "dune enhancement devices." Photo: Gary Appleson, Caribbean Conservation Corporation.

A variety of threatened or endangered organisms use the beach as a vital part of their life cycle. The nearshore ecosystem extends from the meiofauna that exist between sand grains to the carnivorous fish that roam the surf zone.

Components include birds that feed and nest on the beach such as the piping plover (US east coast) and various turtles that lay their eggs here. The first steps in protecting birds, turtle nests and the rest of this ecosystem must be the protection of a natural, un-engineered beach.

Another major threat to beach ecosystems around the world is the ever increasing human population in coastal areas. The global migration of people towards the coast causes competition between humans and other species and humans usually negatively impact other species. New construction in coastal communities destroys beach ecosystems with every parking lot paved, road expanded, or sand dune lost. This increase also puts a burden on sanitation systems, transportation networks, and increases pollution in these diverse ecosystems.


Surfing in / Ecosystem Destruction

Shipping and Industry Threaten Famed Home of the Bengal Tiger

Toxic chemical pollution in the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world, is threatening thousands of marine and forest species and has environmentalists deeply concerned about the future of this World Heritage Site.

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Human race just 0.01% of all life but has eradicated most other living things

Humankind is revealed as simultaneously insignificant and utterly dominant in the grand scheme of life on Earth by a groundbreaking new assessment of all life on the planet.

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Adapt or die: Can evolution outrun climate change?

Across the planet, animal and plant species are on the run. A rapidly changing climate is shifting when and where plants blossom, and forcing creatures big and small to migrate and learn new tactics for survival. It’s a trend that’s likely to accelerate as scientists expect to see more extreme weather events.

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Shocking Study Shows One Third of World’s Protected Areas Degraded by Human Activities

A shocking study confirms that one third of the world’s protected areas — an astonishing 2.3 million square miles or twice the size of the state of Alaska – are now under intense human pressure including road building, grazing, and urbanization.

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Alien Waters: Neighboring Seas Are Flowing into a Warming Arctic Ocean

The “Atlantification” and “Pacification” of the Arctic has begun. As warmer waters stream into an increasingly ice-free Arctic Ocean, new species — from phytoplankton to whales — have the potential to upend this sensitive polar environment.

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USGS Tracks How Hurricane Floodwaters Spread Non-Native Freshwater Plants and Animals

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate may have spread non-native freshwater plants and animals into new water bodies, where some of them can disrupt living communities or change the landscape. Storm surges and floodwaters can quickly spread non-native aquatic species into waterways where they weren’t found before. They can even create temporary freshwater zones in saltwater environments

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The Baltic Sea as a time machine

Warming, acidification, eutrophication, and the loss of oxygen are examples of major changes being observed or expected for the future in coastal zones around the world. These processes are occurring in the Baltic Sea at a much faster pace than in other regions.

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Alligators on the beach? Killer whales in rivers? Get used to it

Sightings of alligators and other large predators in places where conventional wisdom says they ‘shouldn’t be’ have increased in recent years. These sightings signify the return of highly adaptable predators to prime hunting grounds they occupied long ago — a trend that opens new opportunities for future conservation.

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Could sunscreen be destroying our coral reefs? Hawaii lawmakers say yes

Hawaii is set to become the first state to ban the sale of sunscreens containing oxybenzone or octinoxate, two chemicals believed to be harmful to the environment.

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