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

Polar bears could become extinct faster than was feared, study says

Polar bears could be sliding towards extinction faster than previously feared, with the animals facing an increasing struggle to find enough food to survive as climate change steadily transforms their environment.

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Whale and shark species at increasing risk from microplastic pollution – study

Whales, some sharks and other marine species such as rays are increasingly at risk from microplastics in the oceans, a new study published in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution, suggests.

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10 threatened U.S. coastlines

America’s 95,000 miles of coastlines are among the most scenic on the planet, from sandy white beaches to lush marshes to rocky cliffs. And yet, our coasts remain threatened. Coastal habitats can be destroyed by development, overfishing, pollution and even the dredging of sea canals.

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Can Deepwater Aquaculture Avoid the Pitfalls of Coastal Fish Farms?

Near-shore fish farms have created a host of environmental problems. Now, U.S. aquaculture advocates – backed by mainstream conservation groups – are saying that locating well-run operations out in the ocean could produce sustainable food and protect wild stocks from overfishing.

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Chile creates five national parks over 10m acres in historic act of conservation

The creation of the parks marks the latest in a flurry of environmental protection laws which have brought Chile to the forefront of worldwide conservation efforts.

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The EPA made a surprise move that could protect the world’s largest salmon fishery

In a surprise reversal, the EPA announced it is withdrawing its plan to suspend environmental protections for the Bristol Bay watershed in Alaska, that is home to the world’s most valuable wild salmon fishery.

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Seabed mining could destroy ecosystems

Mining on the ocean floor could do irreversible damage to deep-sea ecosystems, says a new study of seabed mining proposals around the world. The deep sea (depths below 200m) covers about half of the Earth’s surface and is home to a vast range of species.

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California sea lion population rebounded to new highs

California sea lions have fully rebounded under the protection of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, with their population on the West Coast reaching carrying capacity in 2008 before unusually warm ocean conditions reduced their numbers, according to the first comprehensive population assessment of the species.

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Drones confirm importance of Costa Rican waters for sea turtles

A new drone-enabled population survey – the first ever on sea turtles – shows that larger-than-anticipated numbers of turtles aggregate in waters off Costa Rica’s Ostional National Wildlife Refuge, making it one of the most important nesting beaches in the world. Scientists estimate turtle densities may reach up to 2,086 animals per square kilometer.

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