Ecosystems Earth on Edge
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Coastal Ecosystems

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You may feel this sense that, why should you care, you know? But no man is an island, no ecosystem is an island. Everything's interconnected, and there is a meaning for all of this. Everything depends on everything. So you might feel the effects much later when it's too late. That's why you should care to begin with.

— Beatrice Ferreira, marine biologist

The livelihoods of 20,000 families depend on the fish and tourism sustained by the Tamandare reef off the coast of Brazil, but the beauty and bounty of its waters are at risk. Earth on Edge introduces Beatrice Ferriera and Mauro Maida, marine biologists who persuaded the Brazilian
The Rio Formoso River, Tamandare, Brazil
The Río Formoso River, Tamandare, Brazil.
government to close off a little more than 4 square kilometers of this endangered reef in hopes that the coral and marine life would recover from overuse and overfishing. And it worked. But while the government invested $4 million in this experimental project, developers are investing $800 million to turn the region into a tourist mecca, beginning with the building of a dozen luxury hotels right on the water's edge. The project threatens the mangroves, which exist in a mutually dependent relationship with the coastline's ecosystems, including the reefs that support the fish we eat. All the ecosystems encompassed by coastal zones worldwide are mutually dependent; what affects one affects the others-and the more than 2 billion people who live in coastal regions.

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The Value of Ecosystems

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