Explain How and Why Development Increases Pressure on Coastal Land

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Coastal zones have a variety of environments including rocky cliffs, sandy beaches, dense forests, deep bays and coves and mud flats. These diverse environments interest different investors however these developments can conflict. The backshore zone has competing land uses that include shipping ports, fishing harbours, marinas, housing, industry, quarrying, commerce, retailing, agriculture, nature reserves, tourism and recreation. The most compatible land use is commerce and because it involves finance and administration other investors use these services as well. In contrast, quarrying is the least compatible land use. Furthermore, the most vulnerable land use is nature reserves usually at coastlines with significant aesthetic, historical, archaeological or geological importance. They have conservation legislation to protect them because the ecosystems have particular species that live in fragile environments. These nature reserves can be severely damaged by natural disasters like tsunamis and accidents like oil spills. For example, The Exxon Valdez oil spill on 24 March 1989 when an oil tank ran aground in Prince William Sound, Alaska and 240,000 barrels of crude oil were spilled. This affected 25,000 km2 of waters and 1,750km of coast which was home to 600, 000 birds. Between 100,000 to 300,000 birds died and the fragile tundra ecosystem was damaged. Pollution is another way that development increases pressure on coastal land because it is one of the most damaging threats to wildlife. Costal ecosystems can be severely damaged or completely destroyed by raw sewage from urban settlements, agricultural chemicals and increased sediment from land disturbance. For example, in tropical areas coral reefs are at risk due to a variety of human activities and their consequences such as tourism. Also, mangrove forests are vulnerable because of the development of prawn

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