How human activities affect our coastlines agriculture industry and shipping


How do human activities affect the coast?

These activities may have direct or indirect effects on our changing coastlines. They may effect sources of new sediment to the coast and the movement of sediment within the coastal environment. Sediment starvation caused by river and coastal management is one effect of human activities on the coast.

What are the negative effects of marine and coastal resources?

Emissions to sea by sewage and shipping are also a huge cause of the negative effects of marine and coastal resources. Daily industrial effluents and sewage are released into the sea via discharge pipelines near Durban Harbour and by sewage pipes all alone the south coast.

How do people interact with the coastal environment?

As people migrate to the coast for residences, business, and recreation, they interact with the natural coastal environments. For the most part because the coast is a very dynamic system and changes can occur rapidly, people make the effort to control the nature and magnitude of these changes.

What are three human activities that affect marine life?

Students learn about three examples of human impacts on marine life: migration patterns and shipping, algal blooms and water chemistry, and marine debris. Some of these impacts are due to human activity in the ocean, and some impacts on the ocean are due to human activity on land.


How does human activities affect our coastline?

Human activities in coastal areas have affected many of the natural environmental processes there. This has led to a wide range of issues including a loss of biodiversity, high levels of pollution, erosion, and rising sea levels due to climate change. In fact, coasts are one of the Earth’s most threatened environments.

How have humans affected coastal habitats?

Increased loadings of nitrogen and phosphorus due to coastal urbanization and the use of agricultural fertilizers are eroding the environmental quality of all coastal ecosystems, with tropical systems especially affected.

How do humans impact coastal erosion?

However, human activities can also strongly influence the propensity of landforms to erode. For example, the construction of coastal structures (such as breakwaters, groynes and seawalls) can lead to changes in coastal sediment transport pathways, resulting in erosion in some areas and accretion in others.

How do humans use the coastline?

Land uses in coastal areas include tourism, industry, fishing, trade and transport. There are many different groups of people who have an interest in how coastal areas are managed.



  • With more than half the worlds population now living within 100 kilometres of the coast, its not surprising that our activities are taking their toll. Human impacts have increased along with our rapid population growth, substantial developments in technology and significant changes in land use. Over-fishing, pollution and introduced species are aff…

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  • Our oceans have long been used as an intentional dumping ground for all sorts of waste including sewage, industrial run-off and chemicals. In more recent times, policy changes in many countries have reflected the view that the ocean does not have an infinite capacity to absorb our waste. However, marine pollution remains a major problem and threatens life in the sea at all levels.

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  • Some marine pollution may be accidental, for example, oil spills caused by tanker accidents. Some may be indirect, when pollutants from our communities flow out to sea via stormwater drains and rivers. Some effects may not be immediately obvious, for example, bioaccumulation the process where levels of toxic chemicals in organisms increase as they eat each other at eac…

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  • All marine pollution has the potential to seriously damage marine habitats and life in the sea. Scientists are concerned that marine pollution places extra stress on organisms that are already threatened or endangered.

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  • Since the arrival of humans in New Zealand, introduced species in our terrestrial ecosystems have contributed to a significant loss of biodiversity. Introduced species also present a threat to our marine environment. It is not always easy to monitor or prevent the introduction of unwanted marine organisms, and visiting ships may introduce them accidentally on their hulls, in ballast w…

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  • New Zealanders are aware that old ways of managing our seas are in need of a rethink. The Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge is tasked with helping New Zealand enhance the value of our marine resources while ensuring they are safeguarded for future generations.

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