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

Florida has a new water problem: red tide on the state’s busiest coast

A red tide that has sloshed up and down the Gulf Coast for nearly a year, leaving a wake of dead sea life, murky water and stinky beaches, has now landed on the state’s most crowded shores in Miami-Dade County.

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Thailand bay made popular by ‘The Beach’ closes indefinitely

“Maya Bay”, a popular day-trip destination, was due to reopen this month following a temporary tourist ban. But on Tuesday, Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) announced the bay will remain closed indefinitely.

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Once majestic Atlantic Forest ’empty’ after 500 years of over-exploitation

Five centuries of over-exploitation has halved mammal populations in South America’s Atlantic Forest — according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

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Why the Great Barrier Reef is in danger

One of Earth’s most impressive ecosystems is in dire straits. Here are the main issues threatening this magnificent natural wonder.

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Dolphin Deaths in Florida’s Red Tide Disaster Prompt Federal Investigation

Federal wildlife officials are investigating dozens of dolphin deaths off Florida’s southwest coast which has been experiencing a severe red tide.

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Three ways making a smartphone can harm the environment

Nearly five billion people worldwide will use a smartphone by 2020. Each device is made up of numerous precious metals and many of the key technological features wouldn’t be possible without them. Mining these metals is a vital activity that underpins the modern global economy. But the environmental cost can be enormous and is probably far greater than you realize.

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Hundreds of endangered turtles killed in illegal fishing net

About 300 sea turtles have died on Mexico’s southern Pacific coast after they were trapped in an abandoned illegal fishing net.

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Tracking Sargassum’s ocean path could help predict coastal inundation events

New research explores how the Sargassum might grow while it is meandering along the currents, not just where it floats, combining both ocean physics and seaweed biology for the first time to understand the distribution patterns. Knowing could eventually help predict its arrival and impact on beaches around the world

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Decades of chemical pollution suspected in Maine’s seal die-off

As the number of dead and stranded seals washing up on southern Maine beaches rises by the day, researchers are linking the sudden die-off to decades of chemical pollution that made the seal population vulnerable to toxins and disease.

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