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

What is a red tide?

Harmful algal blooms pop up nearly every summer, turning coastal waters red and creating problems for marine life and humans.

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Earth Overshoot Day: August 1st, 2018

Earth Overshoot Day is not a day to be celebrated, but it is a day that deserves to be noticed and acted upon. It’s the day we go into ‘nature debt,’ utilizing more than the year’s supply of water, forest and agricultural resources

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Sea mammal on brink of extinction targeted by “mafias” in Baja, Mexico

There’s a crisis going on in the Pacific Ocean as an innocent porpoise falls prey to money and greed. The Vaquita is only about 4 feet long, weighs less than 100 lbs and calls the waters off the coast of Baja, Mexico home. With fewer than 30 left, it’s the most endangered marine mammal in the world.

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Cruise line faces backlash over shooting of polar bear

ocean giants

A German cruise line is facing outrage after one of its employees shot and killed a wild polar bear in Norway after the animal attacked another of its employees.

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Hong Kong land reclamation explained: the good, bad and ugly methods of pushing back the sea

About 6 per cent of city is reclaimed land, and while extending the shoreline of a land-starved society seems ever more attractive, critics say it would not solve housing issues. At the same time, conservation groups such as WWF and Greenpeace say reclamation is environmentally catastrophic.

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A mourning orca mother carried her dead baby for days through the ocean

A grieving mother orca near Vancouver Island has been carrying her dead calf for four days, after refusing to leave her baby behind when the rest of her pod left. The sad display speaks to something deeper. Killer whales eat salmon, and a number of human practices, such as damming rivers, have taken a toll on native salmon populations.

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First mapping of global marine wilderness shows just how little remains

Researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on July 26 have completed the first systematic analysis of marine wilderness around the world. And what they found is not encouraging; only a small fraction of the world’s ocean can still be classified as wilderness. In coastal regions, there is almost no marine wilderness left at all.

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Earth’s resources consumed in ever greater destructive volumes

Humanity is devouring our planet’s resources in increasingly destructive volumes. As a result, the Earth Overshoot Day – which marks the point at which consumption exceeds the capacity of nature to regenerate – has moved forward two days to 1 August, the earliest date ever recorded.

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Acidic oceans cause fish to lose their sense of smell

Fish are losing their sense of smell because of increasingly acidic oceans caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, new research shows.

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