Why Do Ecosystems At Risk Need To Be Protected?
Ecosystems are defined as being at risk when they are vulnerable to both the activities of humans and natural forces that may be at work such as natural disasters or gradual temperature change. Ecosystems are supposed to change over time, so the state of an ecosystem being "at risk" is part of the natural process of evolution. Evolution means that ecosystems can change in response to stress to restore an environment of stability, also known as a "dynamic equilibrium".
Warilla Beach is one such ecosystem that exemplifies why ecosystems need to be protected. It is a coastal ecosystem located on the south coast of NSW, Australia. Geographic coordinates are approximately 34.5 degrees south, 15.75 degrees east. The beach and its associated dune system stretch from Barrack Point to the south of Windang Island. A coastal dune system is characterised by large deposits of sand that form before the active beach zone (the part of the beach that is affected by the rise and fall of the tide).
In other words a dune system starts at the point where the tide gets to its highest and finishes inland where the sand ends. The coastal dune system at Warilla (in part at least) has been influenced by foredune development by humans mainly on the southern end. Sand of Warilla beach can be categorised as very fine, typical of most beaches on the south coast of Australia. Local wind conditions vary seasonally at Warilla Beach, winter is typical of strong offshore winds that can blow for days at a time while summer often sees onshore and southerly winds dominate the weather forecasts. Winter will also often see the beach bombed with huge swells from the south, although Barrack Point offers significant protection from the...