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

Sockeye carcasses tossed on shore over two decades spur tree growth

In a 20-year study, researchers have found that nearly 600,000 pounds of sockeye salmon carcasses tossed to the left side of a small, remote stream in southwest Alaska, helped trees on that side of the stream grow faster than their counterparts on the other side.

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How microplastics, marine aggregates and marine animals are connected

Prior research has suggested that mussels are a robust indicator of plastic debris and particles in marine environments. A new study says that’s not the case because mussels are picky eaters and have an inherent ability to choose and sort their food. Instead, the researchers have discovered that marine aggregates also called ”marine snow,” play a much bigger role in the fate of the oceans when it comes to plastic debris.

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Salty water causes some freshwater harmful algae to release toxins

The finding suggests that understanding the mixing of fresh and salt water, which takes place in many coastal water bodies around the world, will help researchers understand the toxic effects of these harmful algal blooms.

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Save Lighthouse Point, a true Bahamian treasure!

Lighthouse Point is one of the last great remaining wilderness places in The Bahamas. Located at the southernmost tip of Eleuthera, it is home to incredibly diverse and unique terrestrial and marine ecosystems as well as cultural and historic resources. Unfortunately, this outstanding Bahamian treasure is at risk of being lost to externally-driven, large-scale commercial development.

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Sentinels of the sea at risk from changing climate

Climate change’s effect on coastal ecosystems is very likely to increase mortality risks of adult oyster populations in the next 20 years.

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Seagrass meadows in Guam have decreased by 22 percent, new analysis shows

seagrass

As the oceans warm and humans migrate to or grow in numbers in coastal areas of the world, scientists are increasingly keeping an eye on ocean seagrasses and their decline. A new analysis shows that seagrass meadows in Guam have decreased by 22 percent.

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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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