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

The Baltic Sea as a time machine

Warming, acidification, eutrophication, and the loss of oxygen are examples of major changes being observed or expected for the future in coastal zones around the world. These processes are occurring in the Baltic Sea at a much faster pace than in other regions.

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Alligators on the beach? Killer whales in rivers? Get used to it

Sightings of alligators and other large predators in places where conventional wisdom says they ‘shouldn’t be’ have increased in recent years. These sightings signify the return of highly adaptable predators to prime hunting grounds they occupied long ago — a trend that opens new opportunities for future conservation.

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Could sunscreen be destroying our coral reefs? Hawaii lawmakers say yes

Hawaii is set to become the first state to ban the sale of sunscreens containing oxybenzone or octinoxate, two chemicals believed to be harmful to the environment.

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Striking aerial photos show human impact on the natural world

Shot in Spain and southern France, these images were taken by aerial photographer Tom Hegen, who uses drones, hot air balloons, helicopters and planes to document the impact of human activity on the natural world…

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Growing ‘dead zone’ confirmed by underwater robots in the Gulf of Oman

New research reveals a growing ‘dead zone’ in the Gulf of Oman. Little data has been collected in the area for almost 50 years because of piracy and geopolitical tensions. Reasearchers found an area larger than Scotland with almost no oxygen left.

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County Starts Dumping-Related Clean-up Work at Goleta, Carpinteria Beaches; CA

Two months after trucks stopped dumping loads of Montecito mud onto the shore at Goleta Beach County Park, the ocean waters remain closed because testing shows bacteria levels significantly exceed standards.

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Philippines closes ‘cesspool’ tourist island of Boracay

The Philippines has announced a six-month closure of the popular tourist destination of Boracay over concerns the island’s famous beaches and clear blue waters have been transformed into a “cesspool” due to sustained environmental damage.

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The Pearl, Qatar

The Pearl-Qatar, a man-made island spanning approximately 1.5 square kilometers (0.6 square miles), extends from the mainland, and once fully completed, The Pearl will create over 32 kilometers of new coastline.

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Estuaries may experience accelerated impacts of human-caused CO2

Rising anthropogenic, or human-caused, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may have up to twice the impact on coastal estuaries as it does in the oceans because the human-caused CO2 lowers the ecosystem’s ability to absorb natural fluctuations of the greenhouse gas, a new study suggests.

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