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

Peru issues public health alert over pelican and dolphin deaths

The government of Peru has warned people to stay off beaches along large stretches of its northern coastline as it investigates the mysterious deaths of hundreds of dolphins and seabirds.

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Norway whalers take first whales of hunting season: official

Norwegian whale hunters have harpooned the first three whales of the year, off Bear Island, nearly a month after the controversial hunting season began.

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Peru Examines Deaths of More Than 500 Pelicans

The government of Peru is investigating the mysterious deaths of more than 500 pelicans found along a 70km (40-mile) stretch of the country’s northern coast.

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St. Maarten: Paradise in Peril

Sint Maarten is at the crucial point of destroying the last of what draws crowds of dollar-touting tourists to this once-pristine Caribbean island.

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615 Dead Dolphins Discovered on Peruvian Coast, acoustic tests for oil to blame?

Conservationists counted 615 dead dolphins along a 90-mile stretch of beaches in Peru, a wildlife group said Wednesday, and the leading suspect is acoustic testing offshore by oil companies.

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Mega Trawlers Emptying African Seas

West African waters have been subject to overfishing for decades, the effects of which are being felt by protesting local communities. Greenpeace protests against EU subsidised plunder of West African Waters, with level of fishing that is completely unsustainable. Trawlers have a disastrous impact with their ability to make massive catches in an area with already declining fish stocks, destroying both African fisheries and the local fishing industry.

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Large Marine Protected Areas Work for Dolphins

Ecologists in New Zealand have shown for the first time that Marine Protected Areas, long advocated as a way of protecting threatened marine mammals, actually work.

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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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