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

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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Caribbean Sea earns US$400B a year, yet its marine ecosystem is increasingly threaten

In tandem with that increase in economic activity and earning is a projected rise in the number of threats to the ocean from the very activities which it supports. In the Caribbean Sea, 70 per cent of beaches are eroded due to destroyed reefs, sea level rise, and excessive coastal development.

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A tenth of the world’s wilderness lost since the 1990s

Researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology show catastrophic declines in wilderness areas around the world over the last 20 years.

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Three Nations Create Giant Reserves for Ocean Life

The presidents of Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Colombia announced historic protections to safeguard sea turtles, sharks, and a variety of other creatures off their coasts. Friday’s announcements add to a series of recent actions designed to safeguard whales, sharks, sea turtles, tuna, and other creatures off the coasts of Central and South America.

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Successful conservation efforts pay off for humpback whales

Efforts to protect humpbacks from their most fearsome predator— human beings— are having an impact. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has announced that most populations of humpback whales are being removed from the Endangered Species listing.

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Sargassum Watch Warns of Incoming Seaweed

Sargassum beaching events in the Caribbean, West Africa, and other regions have received wide media attention, prompting action by regional governmental agencies and environmental groups seeking to understand this new phenomenon.

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