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

Drilling May Kill Mediterranean Ecosystem: WWF

The recently discovered Leviathan gas field, 135 kilometres off the Israeli coast, is the world’s biggest gas discovery in a decade, with an estimated volume of 16 trillion cubic feet of gas. Earlier this year, the West Nile Delta gas field was discovered as well, lying in Egyptian waters only 80 kilometres off Alexandria.

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Oysters Disappearing Worldwide: Study

A new, wide-ranging survey that compares the past and present condition of oyster reefs around the globe finds that more than 90 percent of former reefs have been lost in most of the bays and ecoregions where the prized molluscs were formerly abundant.

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Study shows rapid deforestation in Malaysia

New satellite imagery shows Malaysia is destroying forests more than three times faster than all of Asia combined, and its carbon-rich peat soils of the Sarawak coast are being stripped even faster, according to a study released today.

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How Do Marine Turtles Return To The Same Beach To Lay Their Eggs?

Marine turtles almost always return to the same beach to lay their eggs. The egg-laying beaches are often far from the feeding areas and the females cross several hundred kilometers of ocean with no visual landmarks.

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Alaskan Coast: Feds set aside critical habitat for polar bear

Nearly 95 percent of the designated habitat is sea ice in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas of Alaska’s northern coast.

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Water Flows and Coastal Ecosytems

One of biggest factors promoting the diversity of coastal ocean life is how fast the water flows, according to new research by scientists at Brown University.

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Enormous Levels of Illegal Turtle Harvesting on Beaches, Madagascar

The study is the first direct assessment of the level of exploitation of turtles in Madagascar. Similar harvests exist in many countries in the tropical coastal developing world, so this isn’t an isolated issue, but clearly it is a cause for concern when dealing with endangered species.

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Where’s the Gulf oil? In the Coastal Planktonic Food Web, Study Says

The eye-opening speed of how the oil components moved through the ecosystem may affect the overall health of the Gulf and beyond.

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Plastic debris killing Adriatic loggerhead turtles

The shallow coastal waters of the northern Adriatic are one of the most important feeding grounds for loggerhead turtles in the Mediterranean. The concentration of litter on the sea floor is among the highest along European coasts, after the northwestern Mediterranean and the Celtic Sea.

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