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

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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Rewilding Santa Monica’s thoroughly artificial beach

In the early 1900s, L.A. County beaches were not yet the tourist destination they would one day become. To draw more tourists, local municipalities wanted the beaches of the Santa Monica Bay to mimic those on the nation’s opposite coast: bigger, flatter, wider. Beach managers decided then, to bend the area’s geology, making Southern California beaches take on a more Floridian aesthetic. It was built by moving sand from one place and dumping it into another, turning the tourist-friendly beach into an ecological wasteland.

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Threatened bird nesting again on Los Angeles area beaches

The western snowy plover is nesting along the Los Angeles area coast for the first time in nearly seven decades, federal officials said.

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Affluent countries contribute less to wildlife conservation than the rest of the world

A new research collaboration has found that, despite facing a number of domestic challenges, such as poverty and political instability in many parts of the continent, Africa was found to prioritise wildlife preservation, and contribute more to conservation than any other region of the world. African countries made up four of the five top-performing mega-fauna conservation nations…

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NOAA Asks Public to Report Injured Whales

Humpback whales are dying in unusually high numbers off of the Atlantic coast, from Maine to North Carolina, and the federal government is asking the public to report any more sightings of whales. Federal officials reported last week that 41 whales have died in the past 15 months in what marine scientists coin an “unusual mortality event.”

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Orca pod filmed hunting whale calf in ‘unprecedented’ California killing spree

In an “unprecedented” rash of attacks, a pod of killer whales in Monterey Bay, California, has killed four gray whales in a week, a phenomenon one researcher hasn’t seen in her 30-year career.

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Caribbean Scientists Work to Limit Climate Impact on Marine Environment

Caribbean scientists say fishermen are already seeing the effects of climate change, so for a dozen or so years they’ve been designing systems and strategies to reduce the impacts on the industry.

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