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

Global Study of World’s Beaches Shows Threat to Protected Areas

A first-of-its-kind survey of the world’s sandy shorelines with satellite data found that they have increased slightly on a global scale over the past three decades but decreased in protected marine areas, where many beaches are eroding.

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Blue Economy Movement Gains Traction in Africa

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Ahead of the upcoming Sustainable Blue Economy Conference, that will be co-host by Kenya and Canada this November, economic experts are optimistic that the Blue Economy movement – which is about sustainable exploitation of oceans, seas, rivers and lakes – is gaining traction.

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Seaweed farming and its surprising benefits

Increasing numbers of fishermen, scientists, and foodies in the country are starting to look at seaweed as a promising source of food, jobs and help cleaning ocean waters.

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Forests and Marine Resources Continue to Shrink

Deforestation and unsustainable farming are depriving the planet of forests, while destructive practices in fishing are limiting the chance to sustainably manage our oceans.

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Romans had whaling industry, archaeological excavation suggests

Ancient whale bones have been found on three Roman fish processing sites close to the Strait of Gibraltar. Until the recent discoveries it was unclear whether the whales’ habitat had ever included the Mediterranean.

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Ocean Conservation Is an Untapped Strategy for Fighting Climate Change

The ocean contributes $1.5 trillion annually to the global economy and assures the livelihood of 10-12 percent of the world’s population. But there’s another reason to protect marine ecosystems—they’re crucial for curbing climate change.

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Help Save the Vaquita; By NRDC

The vaquita marina is the world’s smallest and most endangered porpoise. They are only found in the northern part of the Gulf of California, a narrow body of water 100 miles south of the U.S. border with Mexico. There are fewer than 30 vaquitas left in the world

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Improving seabird conservation in Patagonian ecosystems

Preserving a 300,000 square km area in Patagonian waters could improve the conservation of 20 percent of the population of sea birds in their natural habitat. Marine ecosystems in the Argentinian Patagonia are one of the areas with a larger biodiversity and highest biological production worldwide.

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Invaluable to the medical industry, the horseshoe crab is under threat

The horseshoe crab has survived every period of mass extinction in the last 450-million years, but now faces its greatest threats: wild capture for biomedical testing, together with capture for bait, climate change and habitat destruction. This in turn will detrimentally affect the surrounding ecosystems as well…

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