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 Climate Change Accelerates, Floating Cities Look Like Less of a Pipe Dream

A plan to respond to climate change by building a city of floating islands in the South Pacific is moving forward, with the government of French Polynesia agreeing to consider hosting the islands in a tropical lagoon. But the project has critics in French Polynesia and beyond.

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Philippines rejects underwater theme park

Environment minister says she will not allow US TV network Nickelodeon to build park on pristine Palawan island. Conservation groups call Palawan the country’s “last ecological frontier” because of its relatively untouched coastlines and forests, which are among the oldest and most diverse in south-east Asia.

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Warmer West Coast ocean conditions linked to increased risk of toxic shellfish

Hazardous levels of domoic acid, a natural toxin that accumulates in shellfish, have been linked to warmer ocean conditions in waters off Oregon and Washington for the first time by a NOAA-supported research team, led by Oregon State University scientists.

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U.S. agency says no to requests for ocean surveys with airguns

Federal officials have turned down six applications to use airguns to look for undersea sites that might yield oil and natural gas up and down the East Coast, on the ground that the risks to marine life outweigh the potential benefits of seismic surveying along the Outer Continental Shelf.

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Humpback habitats off Madagascar revealed as energy exploration ramps up

How humpback whales use marine habitats off the eastern coast of Africa is only partially understood, and that has become a conservation concern as offshore energy exploration expands in the region.

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Chesapeake Bay, nation’s largest estuary, is finally getting healthier

Water clarity in the Chesapeake Bay is the best it’s been in decades, and native rockfish, oyster and blue crab populations are rebounding as the overall health of the nation’s largest estuary improves, a report released Thursday found.

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Scaling up marine conservation targets should benefit millions of people

About 200 countries worldwide committed to protecting 10 percent of national marine areas by signing the Convention on Biological Diversity. But more ambitious marine reserve coverage policies that target unprotected fishing grounds would benefit millions of people who depend on fisheries for food and livelihoods.

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Up to 20,000 dead fish, other animals washed up on Nova Scotia coast

The carcasses of thousands of sea creatures have mysteriously washed up on the western coast of Nova Scotia, and the Canadian authorities said they have no idea why.

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Investing in fisheries management improves fish populations

Successful fisheries management can be best achieved by implementing and enforcing science-based catch or effort limits, research shows.

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