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

Improving seabird conservation in Patagonian ecosystems

Preserving a 300,000 square km area in Patagonian waters could improve the conservation of 20 percent of the population of sea birds in their natural habitat. Marine ecosystems in the Argentinian Patagonia are one of the areas with a larger biodiversity and highest biological production worldwide.

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Invaluable to the medical industry, the horseshoe crab is under threat

The horseshoe crab has survived every period of mass extinction in the last 450-million years, but now faces its greatest threats: wild capture for biomedical testing, together with capture for bait, climate change and habitat destruction. This in turn will detrimentally affect the surrounding ecosystems as well…

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As North Sea Oil Wanes, Removing Abandoned Rigs Stirs Controversy

With thousands of North Sea oil wells soon to be shut down, ecologists are warning that removing the gargantuan platforms could be more environmentally harmful than leaving them in place. The rigs, it turns out, have nurtured cold-water corals and other marine life.

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Marine mammals most at risk from increased Arctic ship traffic

The first comprehensive survey of Arctic marine mammal populations’ vulnerability to shipping along two main routes finds which face the most risks from heavier traffic in the region.

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Heading to the beach? Get ready for thick, slimy seaweed

Thick mats of seaweed have washed up on South Florida beaches in recent weeks, creating a tangled, squishy barrier between swimmers and the ocean.

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How one man died so a whale might live

Humans have spent more than 10 centuries emptying the ocean of some of its most extraordinary animals. Today, a coalition of scientists and fishermen are trying to turn the tide – and learning that conservation is much harder than destruction

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European fishermen mobilize against electric fishing

Small-scale and traditional fishermen across the European Union are mobilizing in several European ports this Monday to complain against electric fishing and to call on public decision-makers to definitively ban this destructive fishing technique.

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Mysterious masses of seaweed assault Caribbean islands

The Caribbean is bracing for what could be the mother of all seaweed invasions, with satellite observations warning of record-setting Sargassum ​blooms and seaweed already swamping beaches.

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Whale found In Thailand dies from eating over 80 plastic bags

Rescuers unsuccessfully tried to nurse the male pilot whale back to health. A necropsy revealed over 17 pounds of plastic, including more than 80 plastic bags, in the whale’s stomach.

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