Tag Archives: Ecosystem Destruction

Seagrass meadows in Guam have decreased by 22 percent, new analysis shows

seagrass
Seagrass at the waterline, Seychelles. Seagrasses are a vital part of the solution to climate change and, per unit area, seagrass meadows can store up to twice as much carbon as the world’s temperate and tropical forests. Photo source: ©© Lawrence Hislop /Unep

Excerpts;

As the oceans warm and humans migrate to or grow in numbers in coastal areas of the world, scientists are increasingly keeping an eye on ocean seagrasses and their decline. A new analysis shows that seagrass meadows in Guam have decreased by 22 percent…

Read Full Article; Science Daily (10-04-2018)

Thailand bay made popular by ‘The Beach’ closes indefinitely


Maya Bay on Koh Phi Phi Leh, Thailand. Photo source: ©© Vyacheslav Argenberg

Excerpts;

“Maya Bay”, a popular day-trip destination, was due to reopen this month following a temporary tourist ban.

But on Tuesday, Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) announced the bay will remain closed indefinitely.

Read Full Article; CNN (10-02-2018)

Once majestic Atlantic Forest ’empty’ after 500 years of over-exploitation

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Brazil, Atlantic coast. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Five centuries of over-exploitation has halved mammal populations in South America’s Atlantic Forest — according to new research from the University of East Anglia…

Read Full Article, Science Daily (09-25-2018)

“Rezoning” in Brazil Opens Endangered Atlantic Forest to Development; By Joseph Green, Extramural Research Associate at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs / COHA (02-15-2017)

A Giant Brought To Its Knee: The Atlantic Coastal Forest
The Atlantic Forest is a shadow of its former self. Originally covering more than 386,000 sq. miles along Brazil’s coast, extending into eastern Paraguay and northeastern Argentina. Today less than 7% of that cover remains, in the wake of centuries of forest clearing for agriculture and urban development, and fragmented by centuries of unsustainable use and logging.

Three ways making a smartphone can harm the environment

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Bangka Tin Mining Site. Tin is used for soldering in electronics. Indium-tin oxide is applied to smartphone screens as a thin, transparent and conductive coating that gives touchscreen functionality. The seas surrounding Indonesia’s Bangka and Belitung Islands supplies about a third of the world’s supply. However, large-scale dredging of the seabed for the tin-rich sand has destroyed the precious coral ecosystem while the decline of the fishing industry has led to economic and social problems. Photo source: ©© M. Kelley

Excerpts;

Nearly five billion people worldwide will use a smartphone by 2020. Each device is made up of numerous precious metals and many of the key technological features wouldn’t be possible without them.

Mining these metals is a vital activity that underpins the modern global economy. But the environmental cost can be enormous and is probably far greater than you realize…

Read Full Article; PhysOrg (08-29-2018)

Mining For Smartphones – “Coast, Coral and Community,” A Documentary Series Friends Of The Earth Video; (05-29-2014)

Mining For Smartphones: Devastation In Indonesia, Bangka Islands; By Friend Of The Earth (11-24-2012)

Scientists testing new solution to fight Florida’s toxic red tide


A red tide, or harmful algal bloom, is the rapid growth of microscopic algae. Some produce toxins that have harmful effects on people, fish, marine mammals, and birds. In Florida and Texas, this is primarily caused by the harmful algae species, Karenia brevis. Karenia Brevis can cause severe respiratory irritation in people, produce large fish kills, and discolor water along the coast. Captions and Photo source: NOAA

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The state of Florida is at war with a toxic red tide. A tide that is killing marine life along the Sunshine State’s southwest coast and creating a stench.

Scientists at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota are working on a new weapon that they call an “Ozone Treatment System…

Read Full Article, CBS News (08-18-2018)

Red tide is devastating Florida’s sea life. Are humans to blame? National Geographic (08-08-2018)
Thousands of sea creatures now litter many of southern Florida’s typically picturesque beaches. “Anything that can leave has, and anything that couldn’t leave has died…”

Worst “red tide” toxic algae bloom in years killing turtles, manatees in Florida; CBS News (08-02-2018)

What is a red tide? MNN (08-02-2018)

Toxic Algal Blooms Aren’t Just Florida’s Problem. And They’re On The Rise. Huffington Green (07-07-2016)

Sargassum: The seaweed deluge hitting Caribbean shores


Floating mats of sargassum across the Caribbean sea. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care.
The actual sargassum route and cycle are not well known, but volume does seem to be increasing with each season’s cycle; theories for this include increasing heat and/or additional nutrients introduced into the Atlantic that create or enhance massive blooms of this foliage. Recent research also suggests that Atlantic algae responds positively to increased C02 and acidity in seawater, a major change in the former theory of slower growth.

Excerpts;

When waves of sargassum – a type of seaweed – washed up on Eastern Caribbean shores seven years ago, people hoped it was a one-off. Matted piles swamped coastlines from Tobago to Anguilla.

Years later the seaweed keeps on washing ashore, in larger quantities, and everything suggests 2018 could be the worst year yet…

Read Full Article, BBC News (08-06-2018)

Mysterious masses of seaweed assault Caribbean islands; Science Mag (06-11-2018)
The Caribbean is bracing for what could be the mother of all seaweed invasions, with satellite observations warning of record-setting Sargassum ​blooms and seaweed already swamping beaches…

The Eastern Caribbean Is Swamped by a Surge of Seaweed; Hakai Magazine (06-11-2018)
Massive rafts of floating sargassum are killing wildlife and preventing fishers from launching their boats…

Sargassum Watch Warns of Incoming Seaweed; (09-06-2016)
Sargassum beaching events in the Caribbean, West Africa, and other regions have received wide media attention, prompting action by regional governmental agencies and environmental groups seeking to understand this new phenomenon…

Plaguing Paradise; The Economist (09-02-2015)
Smelly piles of seaweed are ruining holidays. Globs of sargassum seaweed have landed on Caribbean beaches this year, forming piles that are sometimes metres deep…

Sargassum Inundates the Beaches of the Caribbean; Mission Blue, Sylvia Earle Alliance (10-31-2014)
Massive amounts of pelagic sargassum have ben washing up on Carribean beaches for the past few months. According to Mission Blue friend Martha Gilkes of Antigua, the seaweed drifts are getting as high as 3 to 4 feet on some beaches…

Mexico Deploys its Navy to Face its Latest Threat: Monster Seaweed, The Washington Post (10-29-2015)

A Tale of Two Beaches: Tompire Bay, NE Trinidad; By John Weber, William Neal & Jeanette Arkle

Fig.-10-giant-wrack-line-of-sargassum
Trinidad, West Indies. Giant wrack-line of Sargassum. Height here exceeded 2 m. The wall was definitely a barrier to nesting turtles. Captions: A Tale of Two Beaches: Tompire Bay, NE Trinidad; By John Weber, William Neal & Jeanette Arkle. Photo courtesy of: © Jeanette Arkle.

Acid coastal seas off US putting common fish species at risk

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Elwha river estuary, Washington State. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Scientists have shown that coastal waters and river estuaries can exhibit unique vulnerabilities to acidification than offshore waters.

This acidification, detected in waters off the United States West Coast and the Gulf of Mexico, can lead to disorientation and cognitive problems in some marine fish species, such as salmon, sharks, and cod…

Read Full Article, Science Daily (08-18-2018)

Sea life in ‘peril’ as ocean temperatures hit all-time high in San Diego


Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care

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Between 1982 and 2016, the number of ‘marine heatwaves’ doubled, and likely will become more common and intense as the planet warms, study finds.

Prolonged periods of extreme heat in the oceans can damage kelp forests and coral reefs, and harm fish and other marine life…

Read Full Article, Guardian UK (08-15-2018)

Apathy towards poachers widespread in world’s marine protected areas

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Bags of turtle eggs on the beach, ready for sale; Costa Rica. Photo source: ©© Brandon Schabes

Excerpts;

A new study has found that nearly half of fishers from seven countries had witnessed someone poaching in marine protected areas in the past year and most of them did nothing about it…

Read Full Article, Science Daily (08-15-2018)

Sea Turtle Egg Poaching Legalized in Costa Rica: The Debate, Coastal Care (07-29-2011)