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

Walker doubles down on opposing Pebble Mine, Alaska

Governor Bill Walker is against the controversial mine and said the mine’s developers have not yet proven to him that the project can be done without harming the Bristol Bay region’s salmon fishery.

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Brain damage in fish from plastic nanoparticles in water

A new study shows that plastic particles in water may end up inside fish brains. The plastic can cause brain damage, which is the likely cause of behavioral disorders observed in the fish.

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Mathematics predicts a sixth mass extinction

MIT scientists have analyzed significant changes in the carbon cycle over the last 540 million years, including the five mass extinction events. They have identified ‘thresholds of catastrophe’ in the carbon cycle that, if exceeded, would lead to an unstable environment, and ultimately, mass extinction.

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Biodiversity just as powerful as climate change for healthy ecosystems

Biodiversity is proving to be one of humanity’s best defenses against extreme weather. In past experiments, diversity has fostered healthier, more productive ecosystems, like shoreline vegetation that guards against hurricanes.

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US, Canada to investigate deaths of endangered whales

Marine authorities in the U.S. and Canada said Friday they will marshal resources to try to find out what’s behind a string of deaths of endangered North Atlantic right whales.

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Why Sardinia’s tourists taking sand as souvenir face fine

Famed for its pristine beaches, the Mediterranean island of Sardinia has hit back at holidaymakers who have been pinching its sand.

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Spectacular rebirth of Belize’s coral reefs threatened by tourism and development

Report reveals improvement but also details danger posed by tourist-generated pollution, oil extraction and climate change.

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A variety of maritime activities contribute to sea turtle deaths

Ask what water-based activity interacts the most with threatened and endangered sea turtles and many will reply without hesitation: commercial fishing. But state records show that to be incorrect.

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Whales turn tail at ocean mining noise

A new international study has measured the effect of loud sounds on migrating humpback whales as concern grows as oceans become noisier. Scientists have said one of the main sources of ocean noise was oil and gas exploration, due to geologists firing off loud acoustic air guns to probe the structure of the ocean floor in search of fossil fuels.

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