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

Fifty years of decline in Queensland’s coastal sharks

Queensland’s coastal shark numbers are continuing a 50-year decline, in sharp contradiction of suggestions of ‘exploding’ shark populations, according to a new analysis.

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Industrial fisheries are starving seabirds all around the world

Industrial fisheries are starving seabirds like penguins and terns by competing for the same prey sources. Seabirds are now the most threatened bird group.

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145 pilot whales die in stranding on New Zealand beach

A group of 145 pilot whales stranded themselves on a remote New Zealand beach and died.

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More than 100 sea turtles found dead off Cape Cod

A total of 173 sea turtles died off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, this week because of the extreme cold.

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What does a persistent bloom of algae indicate about the health of the planet?

While the harmful algae known as red tide have historically been common in warm waters like those of the Gulf of Mexico, the troublesome blooms are no longer seasonal. The algae kill marine animals and make life miserable for beachgoers.

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Crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change

On Wednesday, associations representing California crab fishermen filed suit against 30 fossil fuel companies seeking to make the companies pay for the harm global warming has caused to California’s fisheries. It is the first legal action by a private industry group seeking to hold the fossil fuel companies responsible for major losses attributed to global warming.

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A Russian village swallowed by sand

Shoyna, a Russian fishing village on the frigid shores of the White Sea, is slowly vanishing under sand that engulfs entire houses, their roofs just barely visible above the dunes.

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Marine Protected Areas overlook a large fraction of biodiversity hotspots

Around 75 percent of marine biodiversity in Finnish waters is left unprotected, reveals a performance assessment of the country’s current Marine Protected Area network. Increasing protection by just 1 percent in the most biodiverse areas could double conservation of the most important species.

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Decline in shorebirds linked to climate change, experts warn

Climate change could be responsible for a substantial decline in populations of shorebirds, say researchers from the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath, following a study published in Science analysing population data over a period of 70 years.

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