The impacts of Human-Made Structures in Marine Environments
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The creation of human-made marine features can benefit some species. For example, the restoration or conservation of marine ecosystems may place environmentally safe structures that coral, sponges, and invertebrates use for attachment and cover. However, other activities such as building artificial islands, most likely has long term impacts to fragile ecosystems due to destruction from dredging and pollution. According to a growing number of studies, the development of these islands has already destroyed large areas of coral reefs and disrupted natural ecosystems. The following detrimental effects have been recognized: loss of aquatic species, an increase in marine temperatures and salinity, disruption of the natural flow of water, and limited use by other countries for fishing and trade. This study will review existing research to examine the effects of these actions as well as to assess possible positive outcomes of island construction.