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

Seagrass saves beaches and money

Seagrass beds are so effective in protecting tropical beaches from erosion, that they can reduce the need for regular, expensive beach nourishments that are used now. Biologists and engineers from the Netherlands and Mexico describe experiments and field observations around the Caribbean Sea.

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‘It’s warm water now’: climate change strands sea turtles on Cape Cod shores

At the New England Aquarium’s sea turtle hospital in a repurposed shipyard building south of Boston, the casualties of climate change swim in tanks as they recover after being pulled stunned from the beach.

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Japan confirms it will quit IWC to resume commercial whaling

Japan is facing international condemnation after confirming it will resuming commercial whaling for the first time in more than 30 years.

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As Polar Bear Attacks Increase in Warming Arctic, a Search for Solutions

With sea ice reduced, polar bears in the Arctic are spending more time on land, leading to increased attacks on people. Concerned Inuit communities want to increase hunting quotas, but researchers are testing new technologies they hope will reduce these often deadly confrontations.

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Loss of intertidal ecosystem exposes coastal communities

south california coastal erosion

Artificial intelligence and extensive satellite imagery have allowed researchers to map the world’s intertidal zones for the first time, revealing a significant loss of the crucial ecosystem. The study has shown that global foreshore environments declined by up to 16 percent between 1984 and 2016.

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Fifty years of decline in Queensland’s coastal sharks

Queensland’s coastal shark numbers are continuing a 50-year decline, in sharp contradiction of suggestions of ‘exploding’ shark populations, according to a new analysis.

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Industrial fisheries are starving seabirds all around the world

Industrial fisheries are starving seabirds like penguins and terns by competing for the same prey sources. Seabirds are now the most threatened bird group.

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145 pilot whales die in stranding on New Zealand beach

A group of 145 pilot whales stranded themselves on a remote New Zealand beach and died.

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More than 100 sea turtles found dead off Cape Cod

A total of 173 sea turtles died off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, this week because of the extreme cold.

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