Wildlife and Human Diseases: Symptoms of Endangered Marine Ecosystems & Climate Change

by Naomi Friedman

May 1, 2001
The Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard Medical School; Wildlife Trust; the Consortium for Conservation Medicine; and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute hosted a Congressional briefing entitled "Wildlife and Human Diseases: Symptoms of Endangered Marine Ecosystems and Climate Change." The marine coastal environment is being subjected to increased pressure from residential, recreational, and commercial development. The combined effects of spills, leaks and accidents associated with oil extraction and transport further weakens coastal ecosystems leaving them vulnerable to injury. These disturbances, in conjunction with new stresses posed by climate change, is adversely affecting the health of marine life. An increase in disease among marine species raises significant concern on the part of scientists, environmental researchers, and policymakers who believe such events herald heightened risk to wildlife and humans.
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