It’s summer and for most of us, that means at least one trip to the nearest beach. Splashing in the ocean, soaking up the sun, sinking my toes into the sand: these are sensations only the beach can provide.
Sadly, our pollution and exploitation of all the ocean has to offer has put the world’s most beautiful beaches in jeopardy. In 100 years, a beachside vacation may be something people only read about in books.
Here are just seven of the world’s most beautiful and threatened beaches:
- Rhossili, Wales
Rhossili, a world-famous five-mile sweeping bay located on the tip of the Gower peninsula in southwest Wales, is in danger because of erosion caused by climate change.
- Goa, India
“People around the world picture Goa as the ultimate beach destination and what adds to the charm is the lush green environs of the state. But locals and conservationists fear that iron ore mining companies in India are not only spoiling the natural beauty of the region, but threatening the lives of many wild animals stricken out of their forest homes,” reports IndiasEndangered.com.
- Railay, Thailand
“I genuinely fear for Railay,” writes travel blogger Adventurous Kate. ”I’m afraid that it will become the next Koh Phi Phi, the entire island smelling like sewage because the infrastructure can’t handle the number of visitors.”
4. Koh Rong Island
“Koh Rong Island is an inexpensive, unspoiled island getaway with turquoise-green waters, miles of powder-white beaches, endless palm trees, untouched fishing villages and only a handful of beachfront bungalows,” reports BBC Travel. But don’t wait too long if you want to see it that way. “In 2006, Kithr Meng, a Cambodian tycoon, purchased a 99-year lease on the island from the Cambodian government. His 20-year plan includes building an airport for small aircrafts, a marina, a golf course, casinos and several five-star resorts.”
5. Seychelles, Indian Ocean
In the past decade, the rising sea level has taken a bite out of this spectacular strip of shore in the Indian Ocean northeast of Madagascar. “Rising temperatures and the melting of polar ice caps are blamed for raising ocean levels and threatening to destroy the nation’s pristine coastline – the country’s No 1 tourist attraction. Some of the archipelago’s low-lying islands could be fully submerged if the rise continues,” reported the National.
- Magdalen Islands, Quebec
The approximately 13,000 residents of Magdalen Islands have watched intensifying natural forces threaten the boundaries of their home in recent years. “Warmer winters and fiercer storms, rising seawaters and the slow sinking of the islands are responsible for an alarming loss of coastline, and the erosion appears to be accelerating,” reports Canadian Geographic.
7. Miami Beach, Florida
In May 2014, a new scientific report on global warming — the National Climate Assessment – named Miami as one of the cities most vulnerable to severe damage as a result of rising sea levels.