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

Brown Tides: Scientists Probe The Inner Workings of Harmful Algae

Brown tides have caused collapses of the shellfish industry around Long Island, N.Y., at a loss of millions of dollars each year. What causes them? Why are they becoming more frequent? What can we do to prevent them or mitigate their damage?

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Indian Sadhus Protest Dam Projects on Holy Ganges

Hundreds of saffron-clad Indian sadhus, or holy men, protested in New Delhi against plans to construct more than 50 dams on the River Ganges, whose waters are sacred to millions of Hindus.

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Mexico Axes Baja Resort Over Environmental Fears

Mexican President Felipe Calderon says he is cancelling the construction of a huge tourist resort in Baja California over concerns it could damage the nearby marine reserve, Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park, which is described as the world’s healthiest marine reserve…

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Recreational Fishing Causes Cape Cod Salt Marsh Die-Off

Recreational fishing is a major contributor to the rapid decline of important salt marshes along Cape Cod because it strips top predators out of the ecosystem, according to new research by Brown University ecologists.

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Consumption driving unprecedented environment damage: UN

Of 90 key goals to protect the environment, only four have seen good progress, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said in a planetary assessment issued only every five years…

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Turbidity Caused by Sand Dredging Heightens Toxicity Levels and Threaten Marine Life

Monitoring stations at Gladstone Harbour recorded dangerously high turbidity levels due to sand dredging, at the same time as UNESCO was issuing dire warnings about the possible degradation of the Great Barrier Reef’s World Heritage status…

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UN Warns Australia To Protect The Great Barrier Of Reef

UNESCO has warned Australia not to allow development of new ports along the Great Barrier Reef, as the World Heritage-listed natural wonder is under threat from unprecedented coastal development. UNESCO has given Australia eight months to improve management of the Great Barrier Reef before it is listed as in danger.

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Thousands of shellfish found dead in Peru

Thousands of crustaceans were found dead off the coast of Lima following the mystery mass death of dolphins and pelicans, the Peruvian Navy said.

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El Niño Weather and Climate Change Threaten Survival of Baby Leatherback Sea Turtles

Researchers have found that the climate conditions at the nesting beach affect the early survival of turtle eggs and hatchlings. They predict, based on projections from multiple models, that egg and hatchling survival will drop by half in the next 100 years as a result of global climate change.

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