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

Palm Beach County’s new beach erosion fight reignites sea turtle concerns

About two-thirds of Palm Beach County’s 46 miles of beach is considered “critically eroded,” according to state standards, and environmentalists question proposed beach erosion-fighting structures.

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Are Jellyfish Increasing in the World’s Oceans? A UCSB Study

Blooms, or proliferation, of jellyfish have shown a substantial, visible impact on coastal populations, clogged nets for fishermen, stinging waters for tourists, even choked intake lines for power plants, and recent media reports have created a perception that the world’s oceans are experiencing increases in jellyfish due to human activities such as global warming and overharvesting of fish.

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Malaysia Says to Rule Soon on Rare Earths Plant

A government ruling on whether Australian miner Lynas would be given the go-ahead for a controversial rare earths processing plant was expected within days.

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Oil Spill Brings Attention to Delicate Gulf Coast

For decades, farmers and fishermen along the Gulf of Mexico watched as their sensitive ecosystem’s waters slowly got dirtier and islands eroded, all while the country largely ignored the slow, methodical ruin of an ecosystem vital to the U.S. economy…

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Accoustic Pollution and Naval Sonar testing

Over the past 40 years, cumulative research across the globe has revealed a coincidence between naval sonar testing events and acute decompression sickness in beached marine mammals. Under a plan announced by the NOAA, marine mammal “hot spots” in areas including Southern California’s coastal waters, may become off limits to testing of a type of Navy sonar linked to the deaths of whales.

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Structural and Functional Loss in Restored Wetland Ecosystems

Wetlands are among the most productive and valuable ecosystems in the world, but because of human activities, over half of the wetland ecosystems existing in North America, Europe, Australia, and China in the early 20th century have been lost. Wetland restoration is a billion-dollar-a-year industry, that aims to create ecosystems similar to those that disappeared, but a new analysis of such projects shows that restored wetlands seldom reach the quality of a natural wetland.

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Coastal Storms Have Long-Reaching Effects, Study Says

Coastal storms are known to cause serious damage along the shoreline, but they also cause significant disruption of the deep-sea ecosystem as well, according to a study of extreme coastal storms in the Western Mediterranean.

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Ninety Whales Stranded on New Zealand Beach

A pod of 90 pilot whales beached themselves at the top of New Zealand’s South island Monday in the same area where seven whales died in a mass stranding earlier this month, officials said.

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Reef Fish at Risk as Carbon Dioxide Levels Build

Researchers from the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, examined over the years how baby coral fishes and their predators dealt with sea water containing higher levels of dissolved carbon dioxide.

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