What is the importance of coastal ecosystem and what is leading to their spoilage?

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besure77 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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Coastal ecosystems are important for numerous reasons. First of all, coastal ecosystems are habitats that are spawning grounds for many different species. They are also the home to numerous kinds of plants. Like any ecosystem, when one aspect of it is damaged, it has an effect on everything else.

Many scientists believe that humans are a contributing cause to the spoilage of coastal systems. This is because sea levels are on the rise due to global warming and climate change. Pollution is another factor that contributes to the spoilage of coastal ecosystems. Take the recent oil spill in the Gulf for example. This was caused by humans and is causing tremendous damage.

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kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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One of the reasons that coastal ecosystems are so important is their immense biological diversity.  Because of the interaction between and among so many different forms of plant and animal life, they often serve as an important point in the life span of all kinds of animals and plants and not just the ones that remain in that area.  The interaction between salt and fresh water is also an important one for the health of both ecosystems.

They are being encroached upon by human development, right now in the Gulf of Mexico by a huge oil spill, and in other places by changes in water flow whether because of dams or other changes upstream or in the wetlands themselves.

dblhmiller's profile pic

dblhmiller | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

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Coastal ecosystems (salt marshes particularly) are important for several reasons.  Salt marshes provide habitats for wildlife that are beautiful in their appearance, but also valuable to local economies.  These same marshes act as buffer zones for hurricanes and help to absorb some of the force of the storm. They also perform the role of filter, filtering out many of the contaminants that would otherwise wash directly out to sea.

It seems too simple to say, but the primary culprit in the spoilage of these ecosystems is human.  Development and contamination both bear a direct affect on these ecosystems. Rising sea levels and changing water temperatures may also impact coastal ecosystems.

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