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The pollutants that have the greatest impact on the health of estuaries include toxic substances like chemicals and heavy metals, nutrient pollution (or eutrophication), and pathogens such as bacteria or viruses. The U.S. coasts generate roughly 56 million jobs. It is the basic reason for existence of economic problems in all economies. Sometimes, toxic substances become attached to sediments (sand or mud) that flow down rivers and get deposited in estuaries. These animals concentrate the pathogens in their tissues, making them dangerous for humans to eat. However, the situation has changed in recent decades, and threats such as habitat alteration, overexploitation, human disturbance, change in water quality and changes in habitat and mouth condition due to changes in freshwater inputs are increasingly becoming a problem for … The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (2012) says that, “Estuaries are some of the most productive ecosystems in the world”. Estuaries have an important commercial value. In this discussion, market c… The San Francisco Bay estuary is probably the most invaded estuary in the world. Eutrophication is often devastating to animals and plants in estuaries as well as the economies of communities surrounding estuaries. And it’s important to keep in mind that: The Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve. Their resources provide tourism, fisheries and recreational activities to have a greater economic benefit. https://study.com/.../threats-to-estuaries-human-impact-problems.html Many also have special significance for local indigenous people. Invasives often cause ecological damage and economic losses where they are introduced. What goods are produced and in what quantities by the productive resources which the economy possesses? Natural resources used by humans in estuaries As well as serving as an important habitat for wildlife, estuaries also have other valuable services. Controlling purple loosestrife costs about $45 million a year. Estuaries do far more for our economy than supporting industries and providing jobs. In addition to water, aquatic organisms are sucked into the ships' ballast tanks. Toxic algal blooms disrupt tourism due to foul odors and unsightly views, and poisoned fish and shellfish adversely affect recreational and commercial fisheries. Have students brainstorm a list of human threats to marine ecosystems. HUMAN IMPACTS Although the benefits of estuaries continue to be vitally important to the economic and ecological health of Florida, the past 60 years have not been kind to the Indian River Lagoon. The greatest threat to estuaries is, by far, their large-scale conversion by draining, filling, damming, or dredging. They carry the combined sewage from residential, industrial, and commercial wastes in the form of sewage solids, metals, oils, grease, and bacteria. (ii) Unlimited Human Wants: Human wants are … 1. The result is that untreated or partially treated waste flows directly into the estuary. CSOs are probably the largest contributor of bacteria and viruses in most estuaries. Many of these substances are poisonous, carcinogenic (cancer-causing), or otherwise dangerous. Unlike pesticides or sewage, invasive species do not dissipate over time. Once consumed by plants and animals, some toxic substances can accumulate in these organisms' tissues. Most excess nutrients come from discharges of sewage treatment plants and septic tanks, stormwater runoff from overfertilized lawns, golf courses, and agricultural fields. It occurs when rain, rivers and streams wash sediment off the land and into estuaries. Over 160 invasive species are now found in the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, and their numbers are growing. In the United States, 38 percent of the wetlands associated with coastal areas have been lost to these types of activities. Non-native species are often introduced to estuaries in the ballast water of ships. As the toxins travel up the food chain, they become more harmful for organisms at the top of the food chain, including humans… In some cases, health officials may warn citizens that they should restrict the amount of fish and shellfish that they eat. Show less Coasts and Estuaries: The Future provides valuable information on how we can protect and maintain natural ecological structures while also allowing estuaries to deliver services that produce societal goods and benefits. Estuaries are often the cultural centres of coastal communities and serve as the focal point for local commerce, tourism and recreation activities. Toxic and foul smelling compounds may also be produced through this process. Human Impacts onEstuarine Sedimentary Processes. Data discussed at the forum underscored the extent of COVID-19’s impact: As much as a third of the U.S. economy may be shut down. During heavy rains, CSOs combine with storm water and overwhelm sewage treatment plants. Since recreational boating is a popular estuary activity, the potential for derelict vessels is ever-present. Write students’ ideas on the board. Toxic pollutants may originate many miles away and be transported by groundwater or sediments to the estuaries where they are eventually found. Competing with native species for food, or preying upon native species, invasive species have drastically reduced the populations of native species and have, in some cases, caused their extinction. Pathogens can enter estuaries from many different sources. Contamination by pathogens can result in the temporary or permanent closure of beaches and shellfishing areas. In addition to being directly harmful to plants, animals, and people, toxic substances can cause great economic damage to communities that depend on healthy recreational and commercial fisheries for their livelihoods. With no natural enemies in their new habitat, invasive species often grow, reproduce, and spread quickly. Because they are transitional areas between the land and the sea, and between freshwater and saltwater environments, estuaries can be seriously impacted by any number of human, or anthropogenic, activities. The local bay or sound nurtures a high quality of life and maintains the health and traditions of our communities. Animals rely on estuaries for food and breeding and humans rely on estuaries … Toxic substances that enter the estuary this way often contaminate bottom-dwelling animals like oysters or clams, making them a serious health risk to people who eat them.