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

Large-scale commercial fishing covers more than half of the oceans, study finds

Scientists tag sharks to see where they roam in the high seas, but until now they couldn’t track the seas’ biggest eater: Humans.

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Ocean Refuge the Size of Great Britain Announced

The government of the Seychelles has created two new marine protected areas in the country’s remote Indian Ocean archipelago. The sanctioned areas will cover more than 81,000 square miles—a swath of space about the size of Great Britain.

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Scientists race to explore Antarctic marine life revealed by giant iceberg

British Antarctic Survey is trying to reach a newly revealed ecosystem that had been hidden for 120,000 years below the Larsen C ice shelf. Scientists say it is a race against time to explore these new ecosystems before they are transformed by exposure to the light.

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In Defense of Biodiversity: Why Protecting Species from Extinction Matters

A number of biologists have recently made the argument that extinction is part of evolution and that saving species need not be a conservation priority. But this thinking shows a lack of understanding of evolution and an ignorance of the natural world.

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Polar bears could become extinct faster than was feared, study says

Polar bears could be sliding towards extinction faster than previously feared, with the animals facing an increasing struggle to find enough food to survive as climate change steadily transforms their environment.

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Whale and shark species at increasing risk from microplastic pollution – study

Whales, some sharks and other marine species such as rays are increasingly at risk from microplastics in the oceans, a new study published in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution, suggests.

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10 threatened U.S. coastlines

America’s 95,000 miles of coastlines are among the most scenic on the planet, from sandy white beaches to lush marshes to rocky cliffs. And yet, our coasts remain threatened. Coastal habitats can be destroyed by development, overfishing, pollution and even the dredging of sea canals.

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Can Deepwater Aquaculture Avoid the Pitfalls of Coastal Fish Farms?

Near-shore fish farms have created a host of environmental problems. Now, U.S. aquaculture advocates – backed by mainstream conservation groups – are saying that locating well-run operations out in the ocean could produce sustainable food and protect wild stocks from overfishing.

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Chile creates five national parks over 10m acres in historic act of conservation

The creation of the parks marks the latest in a flurry of environmental protection laws which have brought Chile to the forefront of worldwide conservation efforts.

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