Beaches in India 1

Ecosystem Problems, Ecosystems Solutions: The Beach Is Alive Campaign

To the casual observer, beaches may simply appear as barren stretches of sand­­: beautiful but largely barren of life or ecological processes. actually , nothing might be beyond the reality . Sandy beaches function as dynamic ecosystems and supply habitat for varied species of plants and animals. Residing within the sand that we walk, play, and surf upon, may be a robust community of life. Clams, snails, crabs, and worms are just a few of the common inhabitants of this unique environment. For the foremost part, these animals remain hidden from our view because they’re adapted to living within the beach. Additionally, beach sand is abundant with a plethora of smaller organisms, including a spread of crustaceans. Many of those animals are as small because the grains of sand themselves!

Amazingly, the mechanism that creates all of this diversity possible is that the same thing which attracts many folks to the beach: ­­waves. whenever a wave crashes against the beach, it brings new resources to support this community of life. this is often because the ocean is filled with the items that are essential to life­­: food, nutrients, and oxygen. As each successive wave rises up the slope of the beach, seawater sinks into the sand and drains backtrack to the ocean. The beach sand then functions as an enormous filter because it removes minute particles of algae and other organic material which give an energy source for the beach community.

Waves also provide larger inputs to the organic phenomenon within the sort of seaweeds and seagrasses. These macrophytes tend to flourish in shallow, coastal waters and are regularly deposited near the high water mark of the beach. Not only does this provide a further source of food for residents of the beach community, it also indirectly supports the foraging activities of predators like seabirds, reptiles, and mammals which depend upon beaches as a location for feeding. this is often one reason why beach grooming practices that remove these seaweeds could also be detrimental to the ecological health of the system.

Finally, it shouldn’t be forgotten that beaches function important breeding grounds for animals which aren’t permanent residents of the system. within the Pacific Northwest , small forage fish like sand launce and surf smelt swim to the beach during high tides and lay their eggs within the sand. As adults, these fish form a big a part of the diet of salmon, seabirds, and seals, demonstrating the importance of beach habitat to the health of the marine ecosystem. In Hawaii and Florida, sea turtles protected under the species Act utilize sandy beaches for nesting. And in California, protected species like the sea elephant and snowy plover are hooked in to beach habitat for copy .

Given the various ecological functions that beaches provide, it’s surprising and disconcerting that coastal management has so often did not adequately protect these systems. Perhaps thanks to their unique location between land and sea, beaches have generally languished within the bureaucratic region between marine and terrestrial management. And, while beaches are consistently valued in our society for the aesthetic, recreational, and storm buffer services that they supply , their ecological contributions have too often been ignored.

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