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

EU proposes total commercial fishing ban on Atlantic sea bass

The move, to cut sea bass catches from 570 tonnes a year to zero, follows what the EU calls “very alarming” advice from fisheries scientists, who found that numbers had fallen below “safe biological limits”…

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Saving Mexico’s endangered sea turtles will be good for tourism too

Seven of the world’s eight sea turtles species nest on the beaches of Mexico. But in a country with one of the world’s most extensive shorelines, nesting beaches for turtles are disappearing. Climate change, human development, and the complex interaction between the two are to blame.

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Taking Down Dams and Letting the Fish Flow

elwha-dam

Nationwide, dam removals are gaining traction. Four dams are slated for removal from the Klamath River alone in California and Oregon by 2020. And the lessons are the same everywhere: Unplug the rivers, and the fish will return.

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World Must Tackle the Biggest Killer of Whales – and it’s not Whaling

It is scarcely believable but accidental entanglement in fishing gear – or bycatch – kills over 300,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises, every year. And that’s a conservative estimate based on data from 2008. No one knows the real figure but it far outstrips the less than 2,000 whales that are deliberately hunted and killed for commercial purposes each year.

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The Rising Environmental Toll Of China’s Offshore Island Grab

To stake its claim in the strategic South China Sea, China is building airstrips, ports, and other facilities on disputed islands and reefs. Scientists say the activities are destroying key coral reef ecosystems and will heighten the risks of a fisheries collapse in the region.

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Pacific Ocean “blob” fed massive toxic algae bloom

A new study finds that unusually warm Pacific Ocean temperatures helped cause a massive bloom of toxic algae last year that closed lucrative fisheries from California to British Columbia and disrupted marine life from seabirds to sea lions.

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High Stakes on the High Seas: A Call for International Reserves

Marine protected areas in national waters have proven successful in helping depleted fish stocks to recover. Now, there is growing momentum for the creation of extensive reserves on the high seas as a way of reversing decades of rampant overfishing.

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Underwater Mediterranean algae forests, threatened by human activity impact

C. zosteroides, a brown alga of the order Fucale, is a species that creates dense underwater forests that create habitat, protection and food for the marine organisms. It is also one of the most sensitive algae species, under the environmental and anthropogenic impacts in the Mediterranean.

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Larger marine animals at higher risk of extinction, and humans are to blame

In today’s oceans, larger-bodied marine animals are more likely to become extinct than smaller creatures. It’s a pattern that is unprecedented in the history of life on Earth.

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