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

Will Cinque Terre turn away tourists?

The fishing villages of Cinque Terre, Italy, now rely solely on tourism, but ironically, the only way to preserve them might be to cut the number of visitors by half.

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A Turtle Saver, NC

Sea turtles that nest in North Carolina are listed as endangered species in part because many beaches have become dangerous or undesirable places for nesting. One of the biggest issues is light pollution.

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19,000 Sea Turtle Eggs Seized in Anti-Smuggling Operation

Police seized 19,000 sea turtle eggs off the coast of Malaysia in a special operation to hobble a major smuggling syndicate.

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Projects selected for $9 million in community-based habitat restoration funding

NOAA is recommending $9 million in funding for 17 coastal and marine habitat restoration projects for its 2016 Community-based Restoration Program, as part of agency efforts to support healthy ecosystems and resilient coastal communities.

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More than 160 years of Walrus Haulout Observations Reported by Russians and Americans Published as Database

Walruses are marine predators that must rest out of water on sea ice or the coast between feedings along the shallow arctic sea floor. However in recent years, loss of summer sea ice has forced walruses to travel to the Arctic coasts of the U.S. and Russia where they haul-out on shore to rest. When hauling out on the coast, they often gather in large numbers and use specific locations, where they may be vulnerable to disturbance and pollution events.

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Sand and deliver – Sardinians indignant over tourists stealing sand from beaches as souvenirs

An increasing number of visitors are scooping the sand into plastic bottles or bags and trying to take it home as a reminder of their holidays. Some are stopped at the island’s airports by vigilant officials, who confiscate the keepsakes and warn tourists that taking sand, shells and any other natural materials from the island is an offense.

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South Carolina says no to Wild Dunes beach erosion walls

Experimental removable seawalls have been ordered to be taken down in front of erosion-imperiled condos and houses.

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As global per-capita fish consumption hits all-time high, UN warns on overharvesting

A new report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) shows that while growth in aquaculture has helped drive global per capita fish consumption above 20 kilograms a year for the first time, almost a third of commercial fish stocks are now overharvested at biologically unsustainable levels.

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Toxic Algal Blooms Aren’t Just Florida’s Problem. And They’re On The Rise.

Pollution from agriculture and climate change is closing beaches and contributing to dead zones across the country.

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