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

Oil versus fish in idyllic Norwegian islands

The question of whether Norway should allow prospecting in the waters around Lofoten’s 1,000 or so islands, has pitted environmentalists and some fishermen against the country’s mighty energy sector.

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Voyage to Pitcairn

A National Geographic Expedition to the remote Pitcairn Islands, including the famous Pitcairn and its 57 inhabitants, descendants from the Bounty mutineers, will embark in March-April 2012. This expedition is part of NG Pristine Seas project to explore, survey and help protect the last wild places in the ocean.

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World Bank Urges Global Action to Save Oceans

The World Bank on Friday said the world’s oceans were at risk and called for a coalition of governments, NGOs and other groups to protect them, aiming to raise $1.5 billion in five years.

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Conservation Risk Highest Off Coasts of Canada, Mexico, Peru and New Zealand

University of British Columbia researchers have identified conservation “hot spots” around the world where the temptation to profit from overfishing outweighs the appetite for conservation.

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Protecting oceans: It’s not Rocket Science

It’s not rocket science: closing areas of land and water to humans allows nature to recover and restore its fragile balance. The idea has been successfully tried and tested many times on land but it has taken years of destruction before the message has hit home for the oceans.

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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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