Conserving Our Coastal Communities

I think many of us can agree that beaches and the coast are some of the most incredible places to be. Perhaps there is something captivating about the sounds of the waves, or the tiny crabs, plants, and fish that live right near the edge. Places like the coast make it feel as if life is timeless.

However, some of these coastal communities are running out of time.

Among the beautiful beaches, there are many ecosystems that are bearing the consequences of environmental changes. With growing climate change, weather patterns along coasts are becoming altered, resulting in more severe storms that damage and disrupt such areas. Since most species cannot adapt as quick as the changing environment, many are faced with difficulties in survival. Extinction may become a future problem for such species. When combined with water pollution, acid rain, and poaching, these ecosystems are growing more and more vulnerable.

Other coastal communities, such as salt marshes, are faced with rising sea levels. Though a few extra inches of water may seem insignificant, it can have detrimental effects on the salt marsh habitat. In an article, r from Science Times explains that, “These salt marshes act as protection from strong tides, erosion, and floods. More than that, salt marshes also become habitats to some species of animals such as birds and crustaceans. Because of the continuous rise in the sea levels of nearby bodies of water, salt marshes become more vulnerable to erosions which decrease its protective components in the ecosystem,” (Distor). As Distor mentions, the fundamental role of salt marshes in coastal protection can be lost if the sea level continues to rise. Along with salt marsh ecosystems, other coastal communities may face the same issue in the future.

These are just two of the many problems that coastal environments are facing today. Although such changes may feel discouraging, conserving these habitats can be possible.

Starting with direct human impact, it is essential that we try our best to not disturb important coastal ecosystems. Advocating for clean beaches and a stop to harmful treatment of such habitats can help to make these issues be brought to attention. Whether it be through volunteer clean-ups or helping to create protected areas, these environments and species can be benefited.

On the other hand, combating climate change may be difficult for each individual, but spreading awareness of the coastal issues can help to bring attention to climate change. This can help to find ways on how to slow down the effects of climate change. Ultimately, it is important that the significance of conservation is known to everyone so we can protect the environment for the future.

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