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

Mapping the World’s Forests in Three Dimensions

Trees cool and moisten our air and fill it with oxygen. They calm the winds and shade the land from sunlight. They shelter countless species, anchor the soil, and slow the movement of water. They provide food, fuel, medicines, and building materials for human activity. The coastal Pacific Northwest of the USA has the tallest trees in North America, averaging as much as 40 meters in height. It has the densest biomass in the country, but for centuries, it also has been a much-tapped resource.

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Fish Farms at Sea: The Ground Truth from Google Earth

The fishing industry is notorious for underreporting the number of organisms that are being fished out of the world’s oceans every year. A study, published in the journal PLoS ONE, is the first to estimate seafood production using satellite imagery. Researchers used Google Earth to count and measure the number of coastal fish farms in 16 countries on the Mediterranean Sea.

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Prince Charles Optimistic for Fisheries’ Future

There are reasons for optimism about the future of the world’s fish stocks despite their currently dire state, said the Prince of Wales at the launch of a report from his green think-tank.

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Residents split over dredging plan for giant cruise liners, UK

A controversial plan to dredge a channel through part of Falmouth Bay – one of England’s finest stretches of marine habitat- to open up the port to giant cruise ships, has caused consternation among conservationists and the dispute will test European rules to protect ecosystems.

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Palm Beach County’s new beach erosion fight reignites sea turtle concerns

About two-thirds of Palm Beach County’s 46 miles of beach is considered “critically eroded,” according to state standards, and environmentalists question proposed beach erosion-fighting structures.

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Are Jellyfish Increasing in the World’s Oceans? A UCSB Study

Blooms, or proliferation, of jellyfish have shown a substantial, visible impact on coastal populations, clogged nets for fishermen, stinging waters for tourists, even choked intake lines for power plants, and recent media reports have created a perception that the world’s oceans are experiencing increases in jellyfish due to human activities such as global warming and overharvesting of fish.

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Malaysia Says to Rule Soon on Rare Earths Plant

A government ruling on whether Australian miner Lynas would be given the go-ahead for a controversial rare earths processing plant was expected within days.

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Oil Spill Brings Attention to Delicate Gulf Coast

For decades, farmers and fishermen along the Gulf of Mexico watched as their sensitive ecosystem’s waters slowly got dirtier and islands eroded, all while the country largely ignored the slow, methodical ruin of an ecosystem vital to the U.S. economy…

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Accoustic Pollution and Naval Sonar testing

Over the past 40 years, cumulative research across the globe has revealed a coincidence between naval sonar testing events and acute decompression sickness in beached marine mammals. Under a plan announced by the NOAA, marine mammal “hot spots” in areas including Southern California’s coastal waters, may become off limits to testing of a type of Navy sonar linked to the deaths of whales.

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