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

A massive seaweed bloom is smothering life from the Caribbean to West Africa

For eight years, thick mats of seaweed have smothered coral reefs, trapped sea turtles and brought economic instability to coastal communities as reddish-brown gobs of foul-smelling sargassum wash onto beaches along the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and tropical Atlantic. These phenomena are symptoms of a massive seaweed bloom scientists are calling the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt.

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Beachgoers beware: Drivers pose potentially deadly danger on the sand

Beachgoers are being urged to stay vigilant this summer amid an alarming number of injuries — and even deaths — caused by drivers on the beach. At least 12 states allow you to drive on at least some beaches.

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After 14 months without tourists, Kauai’s North Shore tests the waters again

Despite the economic value tourists bring to Hawaii, state officials also face growing pressure to balance tourism with preservation of the islands’ natural resources and culture. As part of that effort, Kauai is rolling out new regulations to limit tourist traffic on the reopened highway.

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Near-record ‘dead zone’ predicted in Gulf of Mexico

Scientists are predicting a near-record Gulf of Mexico “dead zone” where the water holds too little oxygen to sustain marine life.

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Watch Out: Your Money Is Being Used to Destroy the World!

How governments spend taxpayers money to subsidise fossil fuels that cause deadly air pollution – A reminder to mark 5 June World Environment Day.

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Mass die-off of puffins recorded in the Bering Sea

A mass die-off of seabirds in the Bering Sea may be partially attributable to climate change, according to a new study.

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Live fast, die young: Study shows tiny fishes fuel coral reefs

Scientists have long sought to understand how coral reefs support such an abundance of fish life despite their location in nutrient-poor waters. According to a new study, an unlikely group fuels these communities: tiny, mostly bottom-dwelling creatures called ‘cryptobenthic’ reef fishes.

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Against the grain: anger grows at spike in ‘sand graffiti’ by tourists in Japan

Local authorities in Japan have drawn a line in the sand amid anger over a rise in graffiti by foreign tourists disfiguring its pristine coastal dunes.

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Dozens of gray whales are dying on the West Coast. What’s killing them?

At least 53 dead or dying gray whales have washed up on West Coast beaches this spring, a death rate that’s only been seen once before. The great mammals are starving to death and scientists have theories as to why but so far no full explanation. The number of deaths is likely much higher because it’s estimated that only 10% of dead whales actually end up on shore.

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