Coastal Ecosystems

Coastal ecosystems, are regions of remarkable biological productivity and high accessibility. This has made them centers of human activity for millennia. Coastal ecosystems provide a wide array of goods and services: they host the world’s primary ports of commerce; they are the primary producers of fish, shellfish, and seaweed for both human and animal consumption; and they are also a considerable source of fertilizer, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, household products, and construction materials. They also  store and cycle nutrients, filter pollutants from inland freshwater systems, and help to protect shorelines from erosion and storms.

  • Oil spills in mangroves Featured Article Oil spills in mangroves Oil spills in mangroves

    Editor's Note: This article is excerpted directly from NOAA, "Oil Spills in Mangroves: Planning and Response Considerations, " July 2010. It has been edited only to... More »

Recently Updated
Mangrove ecology Last Updated on 2014-10-19 17:31:46 ​Mangrove ecology is the study of biotic interactions within mangrove swamp ecosystems. These habitats are significant not only for the biodiversity they represent, but also for the protection of coastal erosion, and for the provision of protected nursery areas for marine fauna.   Mangroves worldwide cover an approximate area of 240 000 square kilometers of sheltered coastlines in the tropics and subtropics. Mangroves stabilize coastal intertidal soils pereventing coastal erosion Four of the most common ecotypes include fringe, riverine, basin, and scrub forests. Mangroves are restricted to the intertidal zone. Mangroves in general have a great capacity to recover from major natural disturbances. Mangroves maintain water quality by trapping sediments and taking up excess... More »
Wetland Last Updated on 2014-09-30 10:32:28 A wetland is an ecological community that is inundated either year around or seasonally. There are very different properties of freshwater versus saline wetlands. Numerous national, state and provincial agencies have regulatory interests wetlands  A chief intent of this article is to provide the reader with special interest in wetland delineation, wetland mitigation and wetland biology with insight to additional sources that will be useful.  Suisun Marsh wetlands. (Source: California Interagency Ecological Program, Suisun Marsh Program) The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the originally published 1987 Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual jointly defined wetlands as: “Those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to... More »
Western Gulf coastal grasslands Last Updated on 2013-10-07 22:41:07 The geophysical province of this the Western Gulf coastal grasslands ecoregion is a distinct ecosystem in the southern USA, due to its more temperate climate, proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and associated natural processes (e.g., tropical storms), and geological origin with subsequent succession since the Pleistocene era inundation. This ecoregion is critical to many species of vertebrates, especially grassland birds, both resident and migrant, that are declining on a continental scale. Several endemic species of this ecoregion have become extinct in the wild, including the red wolf, or are critically imperiled such as the Attwater’s Greater Prairie Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido attwateri), and Whooping Crane (Grus americana). Intertidal, estuarine marsh habitats are less threatened elements of the ecoregion; however, emergent palustrine wetlands within this ecoregion are the... More »
The forgotten coast (9:59) Last Updated on 2011-07-14 00:00:00 Mayor Van Johnson of Apalachicola Florida made a desperate plea this week for more support from the government and BP. Citizens and other officials also spoke out about the issue. More »
Wetlands of Nebraska two-part video series Last Updated on 2011-06-12 00:00:00 Learn about Nebraska's wetlands and the important values they provide. Explore the diversity of these habitats and the wildlife variety in them and of how the wetlands play roles in the lives of Nebraskans. Produced by Nebraska Game & Parks and Nebraska Educational Telecommunications. Funded by Nebraska Game & Parks, Ducks Unlimited and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Part 1   Part 2   More »