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

Off the African Coast, a Struggle to Revive a Battered Fishery

The third-place winner of the 2018 Yale Environment 360 Video Contest looks at a campaign to enlist local fishermen to help reverse a sharp decline in the marine resources of the tiny island nation of Mauritius.

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Red tide is devastating Florida’s sea life. Are humans to blame?

Thousands of sea creatures now litter many of southern Florida’s typically picturesque beaches. “Anything that can leave has, and anything that couldn’t leave has died.”.

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Why the endangered green sea turtle is losing its male population

The struggle to save the already endangered green sea turtle faces a new challenge. Now, the males of the species seem to be disappearing.

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For Marine Life, New Threats from a Fast-Tracked Canadian Pipeline

A new Canadian government-backed pipeline that will triple the amount of thick Alberta tar sands oil flowing to a British Columbia port poses significant risks for a threatened population of killer whales and other coastal marine life.

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Troubled Waters

UCSB scientists find that wealthy nations are responsible for almost all of trackable industrial fishing across the global oceans.

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Worst “red tide” toxic algae bloom in years killing turtles, manatees in Florida

Thousands of fish, eels and turtles are dying, sometimes as far as the eye can see, in parts of southwest Florida. Just this week, one of several lifeless manatees was pulled from the water. The suspected culprit is a toxic algae bloom known as “red tide.”

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How Do Marine Mammals Avoid the Bends?

Unlike previously thought, deep-diving whales and other marine mammals can get the bends—the same painful and potentially life-threatening decompression sickness that strikes scuba divers who surface too quickly. A new study offers a hypothesis of how marine mammals generally avoid getting the bends and how they can succumb under stressful conditions.

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What is a red tide?

Harmful algal blooms pop up nearly every summer, turning coastal waters red and creating problems for marine life and humans.

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Earth Overshoot Day: August 1st, 2018

Earth Overshoot Day is not a day to be celebrated, but it is a day that deserves to be noticed and acted upon. It’s the day we go into ‘nature debt,’ utilizing more than the year’s supply of water, forest and agricultural resources

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