Economic Conservation Vs. Environmental Conservation Essay

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Economic Conservation vs. Environmental Conservation

Around the world people are being affected by conservation and endangered species laws and regulations. Some want the biggest house on the most beautiful land and have the money to get it, while others feel that we have developed enough and there has to be more land left to nature. I feel that while endangered species should be protected, their protection should not change the way that local people function, and interact with one another. This has prompted a battle of economic growth versus environmental conservation that can be found both locally such as in Duxbury, Massachusetts, and world wide such as the southern mountainous region of Vietnam.

Duxbury is a small town on the south shore of Massachusetts located on the coast between Boston and Cape Cod. The town’s barrier beach is a long thin peninsula spanning the entire length of the town’s coast. It is called a barrier beach because it acts essentially as a barrier between the mainland coasts and the larger ocean waves. Access to the barrier beach, through the town, is limited to a single wooden bridge. Once over the bridge, there is a walk-on beach, and a sandy road that provides access to the rest of the peninsula. Along the road there are a number of drive-on beaches, which provide over-sand access to four wheel drive cars, and at the end of the peninsula are two small groups of homes called Gurnet and Saquish. Seasonal beach permits, which are necessary for anyone to drive over the bridge, are sold to both residents and non residents and these funds are used to maintain the ever-changing beach.

According to the Town of Duxbury website, permits for the 2003 season ran between $45 and $110 for residents and $210 for non-residents (Town of Duxbury, 2003). People are willing to pay, and assume that the beach will be accessible to them throughout the summer. However, for the past few seasons the beach seems to have become less accessible because of the increase in Piping Plover, an endangered species of shorebirds, which have been migrating to Duxbury beach. I have been to the beach when a line of cars are being denied access because the birds have moved, or the Harbormasters can not find one. According to Debora Katz in a recent series of articles she wrote for The Duxbury Clipper, there are only about 2500 piping plover pairs left, and they are only found in North America. The adult plover weighs only about 1.5 to 2 ounces and is about seven inches long (“Plight of the Plover,”2003) The birds do not adapt well to coastal development, and when they are not watched out for by organizations such as the Audubon Society, there population begins to plummet (“Pitfalls,” 2003).

Senior shorebird scientist at the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, Brian Harrington, conducted a study in 2002 looking for a connection between human activity on the beach and the how the needs of the shorebirds were or were not...

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