• Salt marshes are found along low lying coastlines where boggy ground is flooded by sea water either daily or less frequently. • Many UK salt marshes have been reclaimed for farm land, but those that remain provide valuable habitats where salt-tolerant plants grow and birds nest. Salt marshes also pay a vital role for coastal protection, they contain creeks which allow tidal waters to flow both in and out which reduces the wave energy. Plants in the marsh are also effective at reducing wave energy. Salt marshes are one of the most threatened ecosystems today threats include: • Land reclamation – people believe they are a waste of space so are drained • Industrial pollution- located in estuaries where trash is dumped. • Shipping and boating- constant activity which leads to death of marsh wildlife Global warming is also putting the salt marshes at risk because: Increase of big storms
Rising sea level
Mangroves are trees and shrubs that grow in saline coastal habitats (saltwater habitats). Mangroves roots, which are exposed at low tide, trap silt and help create new land. Mangroves are vital for the habitats of wildlife as they provide vital nurseries for young sea creatures such as fish and crustaceans. Mangrove timber provides fuel and building material for people living by the coast. The greatest value of mangroves to the coastal area is its protection against storms and flood surges, for example in the 2004 Asian tsunami only 2 people dies in a Sri Lanka village which had dense mangroves in its coastline, however in a similar village without mangrove protection over 6000 die.
Coral reefs are produced by living organisms, they are found in shallow,tropical water and home to a massive range of animal and plant life. Coral can be easily stressed by increased human activity, if continued for long periods coral begins to die. Reefs are under threat from pollution, over-fishing and increased acid in the ocean. Coral are appreciated because of, biodiversity, coastal protection,fish species and tourist/leisure appeal.