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Common types of coastal problems are: pollution, erosion, salt intrusion, flooding calamities, habitat degradation / loss of biodiversity.

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Introduction

Anne Milot Enviromental Geography Topic: Coastal Problems Common types of coastal problems are: pollution, erosion, salt intrusion, flooding calamities, habitat degradation / loss of biodiversity. Coastal erosion of rocky cliffs and sandy beaches results from the action of ocean waves and currents. This is especially severe during storms. In many parts of the world the loss of land due to coastal erosion represents a serious problem. The action of waves, however, does not extend to a great depth, and the sea tends to cut a flat platform, characteristic of marine erosion, into coastal rocks. Various measures can be taken to reduce the risk of flooding, especially in the settled parts of floodplains. One of the most effective methods of reducing damage has been to alter the size of floods themselves. By planting trees, controlling soil erosion, and preserving wetlands, people have helped to reduce the size of floods. Special channels have been constructed to divert floodwaters away from built-up areas. The construction of dams has also been a very successful means of controlling floods. Constructing dams, however, can also alter the processes that shape the floodplains farther downstream. ...read more.

Middle

was enacted in 1973 to protect endangered or threatened species and their habitats. The Convention on Biological Diversity, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992 and ratified by more than 160 countries, obligates governments to take action to protect plant and animal species. In the last three decades, focus has shifted away from the preservation of individual species to the protection of large tracts of habitats linked by corridors that enable animals to move between the habitats. Thus the movement to save, for example, the spotted owl of the Pacific Northwest, has become an effort to protect vast tracts of old-growth timber. Promising as these approaches may be, conservation efforts will never succeed in the long run if the local economic needs of people living in and near threatened ecosystems are not taken into account. This is particularly true in developing countries, where much of the world's remaining undisturbed land is located. At the end of the 20th century, international organizations such as the World Bank and the World Wildlife Fund launched a movement for all countries in the developing world to set aside 10 percent of their forests in protected areas. ...read more.

Conclusion

The same principles are applied to the harvesting of trees, plants, animals, and other natural resources. Preserving biodiversity also takes place at the molecular level in the conservation of genetic diversity. All around the world efforts are being made to collect and preserve endangered organisms' DNA, the molecule that contains their genes. These collections, or gene banks, may consist of frozen samples of blood or tissue, or in some cases, they may consist of live organisms. Biologists use gene banks to broaden the gene pool of a species, increasing the likelihood that it will adapt to meet the environmental challenges that confront it. Many zoos, aquariums, and botanical gardens work together to carefully maintain the genetic diversity in captive populations of endangered animals and plants, such as the giant panda, the orang-utan, or the rosy periwinkle. Captive animals are bred with wild populations, or occasionally released in hopes that they will breed freely with members of the wild population, thus increasing its genetic diversity. These gene banks are also an essential resource to replenish the genetic diversity of crops, enabling plant breeders and bioengineers to strengthen their stocks against disease and changing climate conditions. ...read more.

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