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

Global Partnership for Oceans: to Reverse Patterns of Degradation, UN

A powerful coalition of governments, international organizations, civil society groups and private interests are joining together under the banner of a Global Partnership for Oceans to confront widely documented problems of over-fishing, marine degradation, and habitat loss.

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Avoiding the Tragedy of the Commons

Management of fisheries at the community level can help curb overfishing and the ‘tragedy of the commons’ which is driving humans to decimate the planet’s dwindling fish stocks, an international scientific team concluded. In an analysis of 42 coral reef sites where coastal resources are managed by partnerships between governments, conservation groups, and fishers, they found that such co-management is largely successful in both sustaining fisheries and improving livelihoods.

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Radical Sand Dune project

Will a pioneering project to reshape sand dunes that are home to a stronghold of fen orchids and other rare plants and invertebrates, protect or destroy the habitat?

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Scientists Look Far to the North to Explain Young Whale in San Francisco Bay

Recent sightings of a gray whale and her infant calf swimming near Alcatraz and Sausalito in San Francisco Bay illuminated a likely repercussion of melting polar ice, scientists said.

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Controversial dam projects – in pictures

To mark the international day of action for rivers on Wednesday, a look is taken at some of the world’s most contentious dam projects, from the Three Gorges in China to Brazil’s Belo Monte dam.

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Some Relief for the Reef

United Nations experts will be presented with a petition that has more than 100,000 signatures on it, calling for an end to dredging and development near the Great Barrier Reef off Queensland.

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Sea-Level Rise, Subsidence, and Wetland Loss

A USGS video describes causes of wetland loss in the Mississippi River Delta.

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Landslide raises questions about $15.7 billion Exxon plan

A deadly landslide in the mountains of Papua New Guinea, near where U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil is building a $15.7 billion gas project, is raising fresh questions about the global energy industry’s scramble for ever harder-to-reach resources…

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In Patagonia, Caught Between Visions of the Future

Two competing visions of Patagonia stirring a national debate over the future and the soul of Patagonia itself…

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