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

As mass timber takes off, how green is this new building material?

Mass timber construction is on the rise, with advocates saying it could revolutionize the building industry and be part of a climate change solution. But some are questioning whether the logging and manufacturing required to produce the new material outweigh any benefits.

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Sea turtles struggle years after unexplained die-off

New research is detailing how environmental stressors, including heavy metals, brought on by human activity are harming coastal green sea turtle populations – work that researchers hope will inform conservation efforts going forward.

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Marine heat waves threaten the survival of dolphins and other mammals

dolphins

A marine heat wave in Western Australia that had lasting impacts on dolphin populations may be a disturbing sign of things to come, according to a new study. The researchers have determined that climate change will have more devastating consequences for marine mammals than what was previously realized.

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The Destruction of the Environment: An Unfolding Tragedy for Humanity

The 2019 Global Risks Report from the World Economic Forum identified “Major biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse (terrestrial or marine)” as both one of the most likely and most serious global risks with “irreversible consequences for the environment, resulting in severely depleted resources for humankind as well as industries.”

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Will large protected areas save the oceans or politicize them?

How can we save the oceans? They cover two-thirds of the planet, but none are safe from fishing fleets, minerals prospectors, or the insidious influences of global warming and ocean acidification. In the past decade, there has been a push to create giant new Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). They now cover nearly 9.7 million square miles.

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Dead whale found with 40 kilograms of plastic bags in its stomach

A young whale whose carcass washed up in the Philippines died of “dehydration and starvation” after consuming 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of plastic bags, scientists have found.

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Fatal horizon, driven by acidification, closes in on marine organisms in Southern Ocean

Marine microorganisms in the Southern Ocean may find themselves in a deadly vise grip by century’s end as ocean acidification creates a shallower horizon for life. The steep drop, which could happen suddenly over a period as short as one year in localized areas, could impact marine food webs significantly and lead to cascading changes across ocean ecosystems.

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Violent battle playing out to save the last 22 vaquitas, the world’s most endangered porpoise

Experts said that at most only 22 vaquitas remain in the Gulf of California, where a grim, increasingly violent battle is playing out between emboldened fishermen and the last line of defense for the smallest and most endangered porpoise in the world.

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Huge sunfish washes up in northern waters for first time in 130 years

A giant sunfish has washed up on a beach in Santa Barbara, California, the first time this particular species of the animal has been sighted in the northern hemisphere in 130 years.

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