Intact coastal regions are dwindling

Researchers found that human pressures have left just 15.5% of the world’s coastal regions intact. Credit: Leonardo Felippi

Intact coastal regions are on the decline, researchers found. As of 2013, only 15.5% of the world’s coastal regions remained intact as human pressures impact these critical areas.

“Coastal regions contain high levels of biodiversity and are relied upon by millions of people for ecosystem services such as food and storm protection,” said Brooke Williams, a conservation ecologist from the University of Queensland and lead author on a recent study published in Conservation Biology.

Tracking human pressure on land and marine systems, researchers found coastal regions with seagrasses, savannah and coral reefs had the highest levels of human pressure. Canada possessed the largest expanse of intact coast.

Read the study in Conservation Biology.