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
To meet the need for a consistent, objective, and complete description of open-ocean environments, the USGS formed a public-private partnership with ESRI, NOAA, academia, and non-profit organizations to produce the first ever detailed maps that group the entire global ocean into 37 distinct 3D ecosystems.
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The island off the southern tip of Malaysia reveals the future of building in an epoch of dwindling territory.
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In the first ecosystem-wide study of changing sea depths at five large coral reef tracts in Florida, the Caribbean and Hawai’i, U.S.G.S researchers found the sea floor is eroding in all five places, and the reefs cannot keep pace with sea level rise. As a result, coastal communities protected by the reefs are facing increased risks from storms, waves and erosion.
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Though this French overseas territory is now considered a marine protected area, it still faces threats from overfishing, with sharks and other large marine life nearly vanishing.
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This remote volcanic island has intrigued generations of scholars. Famed for its monolithic statues, Easter Island is shrouded in mystery. Its population, once sizable, collapsed.
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According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, domoic acid may become more prevalent as oceans warm, threatening birds and humans alike.
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Populations of some migratory shorebirds are declining by as much as 8 percent per year as mudflats in the Yellow Sea between China and South Korea disappear due to rising sea levels and infrastructure projects, according to new research.
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A proposed bill allowing towns to bypass state permitting and decide for themselves when to remove ‘large’ amounts of seaweed, will lead towns to unwitingly destabilize their beaches, with grave consequences for the town’s beach and their beach goers – less sand, erosion, and a beach barren of life.
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Debris on beaches caused by logging activity in tropical forests is threatening the survival of hatchling leatherback turtles and the success of mothers at one of the world’s most important nesting sites in Colombia…
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