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

Why the Great Barrier Reef is in danger

One of Earth’s most impressive ecosystems is in dire straits. Here are the main issues threatening this magnificent natural wonder.

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Dolphin Deaths in Florida’s Red Tide Disaster Prompt Federal Investigation

Federal wildlife officials are investigating dozens of dolphin deaths off Florida’s southwest coast which has been experiencing a severe red tide.

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Three ways making a smartphone can harm the environment

Nearly five billion people worldwide will use a smartphone by 2020. Each device is made up of numerous precious metals and many of the key technological features wouldn’t be possible without them. Mining these metals is a vital activity that underpins the modern global economy. But the environmental cost can be enormous and is probably far greater than you realize.

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Hundreds of endangered turtles killed in illegal fishing net

About 300 sea turtles have died on Mexico’s southern Pacific coast after they were trapped in an abandoned illegal fishing net.

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Tracking Sargassum’s ocean path could help predict coastal inundation events

New research explores how the Sargassum might grow while it is meandering along the currents, not just where it floats, combining both ocean physics and seaweed biology for the first time to understand the distribution patterns. Knowing could eventually help predict its arrival and impact on beaches around the world

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Decades of chemical pollution suspected in Maine’s seal die-off

As the number of dead and stranded seals washing up on southern Maine beaches rises by the day, researchers are linking the sudden die-off to decades of chemical pollution that made the seal population vulnerable to toxins and disease.

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Ghost netting: Image emerges of decomposed turtle wrapped in plastic net

Pictures taken from the upcoming environmental film Blue, which will be shown at the Ocean Film Festival UK & Ireland Tour, show the horrific effects of plastic pollution and ghost nets on marine life and the world’s oceans.

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Scientists testing new solution to fight Florida’s toxic red tide

The state of Florida is at war with a toxic red tide. A tide that is killing marine life along the Sunshine State’s southwest coast and creating a stench. Scientists at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota are working on a new weapon that they call an “Ozone Treatment System.

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Shark Mystery: Where Have South Africa’s Great Whites Gone?

The world’s most famous sharks are the great whites off Cape Town, featured in the popular “Air Jaws” series. But now these sharks have mostly gone missing, and some experts blame a fishery for depleting the smaller sharks that the great whites feed on.

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