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

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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Toxic algae bloom blankets Florida beaches, prompts state of emergency; Florida

Gov. Rick Scott, declared a state of emergency midweek in Martin, St. Lucie, Lee and Palm Beach counties because of the toxic algae bloom that originated in Lake Okeechobee and spread to the beaches.

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African Fisheries Plundered by Foreign Fleets

A study to determine how much fish had been taken out of the world’s oceans since 1950 in order to better avoid depleting the remaining populations of fish, found that the global catch was 40 percent higher than officially reported.

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An expanded Panama Canal opens for giant ships

A mammoth ship bearing 9,472 containers, on Sunday will become the first vessel to officially pass through the new expanded Panama Canal, a $5.25 billion project designed to modernize a 102-year-old landmark. Others worry about the ability of the nearly 300 canal pilots to safely guide the new giant ships through the snug locks and channels.

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Mangrove forest in SW China endangered

The vast tracts of mangrove forest in the Beibu Gulf of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region have been almost erased by the immense construction of marine reclamation lands and industrial plants.

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Could Seismic Tests Harm Fish?

Eight companies are currently seeking to conduct seismic surveys in areas off the southern Atlantic coast between Delaware and Florida to look for oil and natural gas resources.

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