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Rocque Perez,Leilani LagunaPaula DeckerGEOG 1708 December 2017Artificial Islands and the Ecological Communities Around Them In modern day efforts to create new private luxury living, public resorts, or to combat thepush and pull of waves against the coastline, innovative ways have been founded to create artificial islands beyond natural formation. While seeming almost far out of reach to have the ability to create your own land in the ocean, it’s possible, and many things must be considered to turn such a wondrous idea into a marvelous achievement. Along the borders of our nation and around cities beyond the United States, the ocean has proven to be a credible threat to the security of coastlines and space the world’s growing population so desperately needs. For decades now, in an attempt to expand such lands for security, plans by government officials have been enacted to build huge islands and giant constructions in coastal areas, by dredging and dumping million of tons of material. Further, expanding land outwards away from the mainlands for opportunities of wealth with tourism. While this positive step in innovation has ensured safety for homes along coastal areas, the toll luxury, business, and infrastructure has on the surrounding ocean ecosystems, must be recognized. Throughout history, lands have emerged and submerged, but quite recently our abilitiesto stop this have increased, lands creeping further into the ocean, by the act of land reformation.

Land reclamation is a growing business and numerous countries like China and Dubai are utilizing this business, to reclaim land from the sea in order to expand their coastlines and territory. Created by dumping mainland soil or dredging up from the sea, built from a about 100 million cubic metres of dredged sand. In Dubai, home to a perfect example of reclaimed area, is a beautiful and completely artificial series of islands that connect to the rest of the city, luxury living space for a top percentile of Dubai’s wealthy citizens. An aerial view photo of Dubai’s Artificial IslandsAside from the personal uses, land reclamation offers an increase in land for the governments around the world, an opportunity that would allow any country more space for buildings and infrastructure and simultaneously create more jobs, an economic wonder. For example, The Kansai International Airport in Japan and International Airport in Hong Kong are built on artificial islands off the coast of the main lands, not only expanding land, but skipping miles through the ocean to create areas away from sovereign soil.An Aerial View Photo of Kansai International Airport Island, JapanWhile land reclamation has had its upsides, it can be damaging to corals and marine life.By the extreme change in conditions to the ecosystem, pollutants, or the inability to sustain so much change, death of the marine life has run rampant. Corals are typically placed in an alternative place when land is to be reclaimed but the corals have a high probability of not surviving in that particular habitat, in other words forced to die out.

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In other countries, consideration of marine life is the last to be reviewed, overlooking the importance of corals, neglecting the chance to relocate the corals somewhere else, causing them to die out immediately, as expressed in the article “Environment Impact of Extensive Dredging in a Coastal Marine Area”, the observation that “a great lack of respect to the pre-dredging period and neighbouring non-dredged areas” has such an effect. Noticing “Communities in the neighbouring non-dredged zones were unaffected by the large scale dredging.”(Pagliai, Varriale, Crema,Galletti) Regardless of every area being subject to circumstantial case to case scenarios, many fish may be deprived of food due to the aftermath of the underwater plantations being destroyed.

Overall, these process have many upsides to humans but a severe downside to life underwater.Due to the scrutiny the land reformation business has been under, it has been asked, “How might we restore those environments to their former condition or positively impact them?” In response, some have searched for alternative routes to dredging and discovered that floating villages such those in Cambodia with floating homes, offer a great compromise. The desire to find new land and living alternatives has created an international interest in these floating homes much like the craze with man made islands. Architects are building modern homes, inspiring many to consider the possibility of hi-tech living on a larger scale (cities). The Seasteading Institute even challenging designers to come up with greater visions of the futuristic floating cities in regards to look and functionality. Attempting to create new sustainable communities, but also to provide a platform for businesses with “Green” initiatives to grow.The trend of artificial islands is only growing and their uses could be limitless.

For thisreason, I urge any all scientists and government officials to share their understanding of these projects and to consider life other than their own. With the repeat of these cases, steps can be taken to protect marine life and positively impact the natural environment, preserving the safety of marine life.Works CitedGiroux, J.

(1981). Use of Artificial Islands by Nesting Waterfowl in Southeastern Alberta. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 45(3), 669-679. A.M. Bonvicini pagliai, A.M.

Cognetti Varriale, R. Crema, M. Curini Galletti, R. Vandini Zunarelli, Environmental impact of extensive dredging in a coastal marine area, In Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 16, Issue 12, 1985, Pages 483-488, ISSN 0025-326X, (http://www.sciencedirect.

com/science/article/pii/0025326X85903819)Morten Holtegaard Nielsen, Lis Bach, Sandra M. Bollwerk, Spreading of sediment due to underwater blasting and dredging: Field observations from quay construction in Sisimiut, Greenland, In Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 116, 2015, Pages 512-522, ISSN 0964-5691,


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