Gulf Ecosystem Services And How They Serve Us

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Cara Greenberg IDS 3214 5472007 Mini Project 2 Gulf Ecosystem Services and How They Serve Us Coastal ecosystems are among the most productive on the planet, providing all of 70 percent of total global ecosystem services and housing 10 percent of the Earth’s total population (13 percent of its urban population) despite accounting for only 2 percent of the Earth’s land surface (Costanza 2011). Natural ecosystems offer a myriad of economic goods and services fundamental to human life including water, land, food, oxygen, climate stability, recreation, storm and flood protection, raw materials (such as wood, clay, or natural gas), minerals, and energy (Batker 2010). It is an out and out, undeniable truth that “no economy can function without nature’s provision of economic goods and services” (Batker 2010), for all products we as people build and use—food, cars, housing, etc.—find their origins in our natural capital. Food-wise, for food has long since been a high-pressure driver of settlement on the coast, coastal ecosystems offer a plethora of high-protein organisms such as fish, mollusks, crustaceans, and various other marketable species. Estuaries, which wholesomely act as nursery areas for many aquatic organisms, present a vital link between coastal, marine, and freshwater ecosystems and their allocated services. In both the tropical and sub-tropical regions, mangroves are an ideal example of this, as they provide a nursery for reef organisms, which resultantly
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