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

Feeling the Heat: How Fish Are Migrating from Warming Waters

Steadily rising ocean temperatures are forcing fish to abandon their historic territories and move to cooler waters. The result is that fishermen’s livelihoods are being disrupted…

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UN Ocean Conference wraps up with actions to restore ocean health, protect marine life

The first-ever United Nations summit on oceans, June 9th, wrapped up with a global agreement to reverse the decline of the ocean’s health, and more than 1,300 pledged actions for protecting the blue.

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Gabon Sets Plan for Africa’s Largest Marine Reserve

The African nation of Gabon has announced the creation of the continent’s largest network of marine protected areas, covering 20,500 square miles.

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What caused the most toxic algal bloom ever observed in Monterey Bay?

In spring 2015, the West Coast of North America experienced one of the most toxic algal blooms on record. A new article shows that, at least in Monterey Bay, this bloom became particularly toxic because of an unusually low ratio of silicate to nitrate in the waters of the bay.

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Business View: ‘No Good Reason For Drilling’

Every aspect of offshore drilling, from exploration to transporting the product from the drilling site, has implications for marine life and coastal communities.

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Blue Whale Found Dead On Northern California Beach Likely Struck By Ship

A blue whale that washed ashore in northern California was struck by a ship, experts believe.

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Unique Sandbar Coastal Ecosystem in Cuba Calls for Climate Solutions

Just 13 wooden houses with lightweight roofs shield the few families that still live on one of the six coastal sandbars exclusive to Baracoa, a mountainous coastal municipality with striking nature reserves. These long and narrow sandbars between the river mouths and the sea have a name from the language of the Araucan people, the native people who once populated Cuba.

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Domino Effect: The Myriad Impacts of Warming on an East Coast Estuary

Delaware Bay provides a case study in how warming oceans, more severe storms, and sea-level rise are impacting estuaries around the world. The effects — from loss of wetlands to steep declines in shorebird populations — cascade throughout the ecosystem.

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Migratory seabird deaths linked to hurricanes

Stronger and more frequent hurricanes may pose a new threat to the sooty tern, a species of migratory seabird found throughout the Caribbean and Mid-Atlantic, a new study reveals. Although sooty terns are neither rare nor endangered, they have long been used by scientists as an indicator species to determine the health of the region’s marine environment.

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