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

Ban turtle eggs trade in Malaysia: WWF

Sea turtles once arrived in their thousands to lay eggs on Malaysian beaches, but are now increasingly rare due to poaching and coastal development.

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Blue Carbon Initiative: Buried Treasure For Climate and Coastal Communities

Dubbed “blue carbon” for their ability to sequester and store huge amounts of carbon, mangroves, seagrasses, and salt marshes- show great climate mitigation potential, immediately available and cost-effective, for removing greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere. The Blue Carbon Initiative program, draw the world’s attention to the crucial role of these direly threaten coastal ecosystems, in the fight against carbon emissions.

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Sea Turtle Egg Poaching Legalized in Costa Rica: The Debate

An unusual project installed in 1990, to stabilize the population of Olive Ridley sea turtles in the coastal town of Ostional on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula, that led the government of Costa Rica to legally permit an exemption to the 1966 nationwide ban on harvesting sea turtle eggs, remains controversial.

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Caribbean states want end of nuclear waste shipments

The practice of shipping hazardous and nuclear waste through the Caribbean sea is seen as a dangerous environmental gamble, risking the existence of the more than 20 million people, and threatening its coral reefs and ecosystems.

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Red Knots Shorebirds and Horseshoe Crabs Knotted Together

A shorebird species whose population has plummeted over the last 15 years, has been directly tied to the number of egg-laying horseshoe crabs. This is one of the first studies to scientifically support the ecological links between these two species.

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Elwha River Restoration: Dams Removal Project

This September, removal of two dams on the Elwha River, in Washington State, begins, setting in motion one of the largest restoration projects in U.S. history.

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The Speed of Change: Oceans in Distress, An International Report

Sponsored by the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), the 27 participants from 18 organisations in 6 countries produced a grave assessment of current threats, and a stark conclusion about future risks to marine and human life if the current trajectory of damage continues: that the world’s ocean is at high risk of entering a phase of extinction of marine species unprecedented in human history.

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Northwest Coast of Madagascar

The Betsiboka Estuary on the northwest coast is the mouth of Madagascar’s largest river and one of the world’s fast-changing coastlines. Nearly a century of extensive logging of rainforests and coastal mangroves has resulted in nearly complete clearing of the land and dramatic rates of erosion. Astronauts describe their view of Madagascar as “bleeding into the ocean.”

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A Giant Brought to Its Knees: The Atlantic Coastal Forest

The Atlantic Forest is a shadow of its former self. Originally covering more than 386,000 sq. miles along Brazil’s coast, extending into eastern Paraguay and northeastern Argentina. Today less than 7% of that cover remains, in the wake of centuries of forest clearing for agriculture and urban development, and fragmented by centuries of unsustainable use and logging.

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