The Role of Beaches in the Ecosystem
And it’s not just us that benefit from hanging around beaches. A lot of marine animals also depend on the beach ecosystem. Most can’t be seen by the naked eye because they are millimetres small or are buried in the sand but they provide an important role in seawater filtration and nutrient recycling.
Some depend on the beach environment as a nursery area for fish fry or nesting sites and rookeries for turtles and birds. Higher up on the marine food chain, the beaches are a vital feeding ground for birds and terrestrial wildlife.
Beaches can also play a role in mitigating the effects of climate change. By acting as a buffer, it can protect the coastline from the damaging effects of high winds and waves of powerful storms.
All of these benefits, of course, depend on our beaches being safe, clean and healthy.