1. Inform
  2. Educate
  3. Protect
  4. Celebrate


The Health, Beauty and Ecosystem of Our Beaches is Under Threat.

Beach Driving

Driving on the beach

The driving cause for most of these problems is overdevelopment and poor coastal management. If no buildings crowded the shoreline, there would be no shoreline armoring, beach nourishment, threats to the beach fauna and flora or shoreline erosion problems.

The work of the Santa Aguila Charitable Trust will emphasize the impacts of sand mining and shoreline armoring: the first because the effects of sand mining have been largely ignored on a global scale and the latter due to its overwhelming negative impacts on the world’s beaches.

  • Coastal Care Introduction: The world’s beaches are in dire need of attention.
  • Sea Level Rise: There is no debate: sea level rise is happening right now and threatens all of our beaches.
  • Poor Coastal Development: Even a single building negatively impacts a beach, so it is hard to imagine what hundreds of them might do.
  • Shoreline Armoring: Sea walls and constructed rock shorelines are not beautiful vacation destinations and can eventually destroy the natural beach.
  • Sand Mining: Right now, sand is being taken off beaches all over the world destroying beach habitat, accelerating erosion, and reducing protection from storms.
  • Pollution: Pollution is hazardous to animals and plants, takes many forms, and is an increasing global problem.
  • Mangrove & Coral Destruction: Development and beach construction projects destroy critical habitat for beach plants and animals everyday.



The Beach Ecosystem is Made Up of Living and Non-Living Parts.


Heavy mineral accumulations

Plants and animals and sand and water influence each other, often amidst breathtaking scenery. Greater than the sum of its parts, beaches sustain major portions of global biodiversity. With over half the world’s population living within 50 km of the coast, human influence on that biodiversity is inevitable, making the study of beaches even more important.

  • Beach Basics: Learn how a beach is defined, why beaches are different colors, and the parts of a beach.
  • Exploring the Sand: Sand is a major part of most beaches. Learn some details about sand that you might not know.
  • Waves: What causes waves to break, different types of waves, and rogue waves.
  • Tides: Learn about tides, storm surges, and sea level rise.
  • Sand Dunes: Sand dune formation, types of dunes, and where they exist.
  • Flora and Fauna: The beach is home to scores of amazing plants and animals. Learn just a few of these and make your next visit to the beach a treat.
  • Seashells: Seashells are an important part of biological and geological beach processes as well as an important part of human culture.
  • Safety: Follow these safety tips to reduce risk of danger at the beach.



You Can Make a Difference and Help Save Our Beaches


Low tide seawall marsh, Pivers Island

Learn simple things that you can do to help protect beaches starting with simply educating others about the beach thereby helping us celbrate the beauty of the world’s beaches.

  • Advocacy: Learn what the experts are saying on major beach issues. Follow these simple tips to make sure your impact is reduced and others can enjoy the beach too.
  • Petition on Sand Mining: Sign our petition to end global beach sand mining.
  • Petition on Hardened Beach Structures: Sign our petition supporting the ban on hardened beach structures in North Carolina.
  • Donate: Support our mission.


How do you celebrate the beach? Let us know!

Celebrating the beach is key! Compete in our drawing contest, write a poem, share a photograph, tell a story or play a game. The beach holds something for everyone!

  • Art Contest: Send us your art and it may end up on this site.
  • Games: Mazes, puzzles, crosswords, coloring activities, and more.
  • Resources: Our growing list of all things coastal.
  • Beach Poetry: Drawing the line in the sand.

Surfing in / Celebrate

A Spanish Island’s Quest to Be the Greenest Place on Earth

Celebrate, News

When an innovative wind-power system goes online at the end of 2011, El Hierro, the easternmost of Spain’s Canary Islands, will turn into the first inhabited landmass in the world to become completely energy self-sufficient, using nature’s gifts: wind and sea water. And that’s just the first step in a plan that may make the island the most sustainable place on Earth.

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The Man That Has Been Picking Plastic From Beaches For 7 Years


Francis Picco arrived in Easter Island, Chile, from France for a vacation 15 years ago, and never left. The reason was a local woman who became his wife, and a new found peace he couldn’t trade for anything else. Picco, who has adopted the native name Tutuma, has been recovering plastic garbage from Easter Island’s coastline for over seven years now.

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Druridge Bay Interactive Panorama: A Visual Art Project, UK

Landscape photographer Mike McFarlane has created a 360-degree virtual tour of Druridge Bay in Northumberland, UK. The amazing panorama is part of a visual arts project commissioned by The Wildlife Trusts that aims to raise awareness of its landscape-scale conservation schemes.

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Big Dume Beach, Malibu, California; By Noah Gorelick


An image by Noah Gorelick.


Sea of Expansion, a Subtly Ironic Reminder of Our Environmental Impact

Julie Brookman‘s work uses photography and glass to explore the dichotomous nature of plastic bags: their unsuspected malleable beauty and staying imperfection, the ease in which they are acquired, and the difficulty in which they are discarded.

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The Last Of the Shells Dyers, Oaxaca Coast, Mexico

Discovering one of the last ancestral Purpura (murex) dyers on the planet, on remote beach on the coast of Oaxaca.

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Nile Delta Desert Islands: An Artist And A Scientist Symbiotic Point of View


Although remote and undeveloped, the Nile Delta desert islands reveal the critical state of the Nile River and its people. The Delta is sinking and the barrier islands are receding. World-renowned coastal geologist Orrin H. Pilkey and artist Mary Edna Fraser, an internationally recognized master of the textile art of batik, bring an understanding of coastal geology and global change to the public in a way that is scientifically astute and visually intriguing.

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Sustainable Surf Craft, a Project by Kevin Cunningham

Inspired by the beauty of nature yet distressed by the large amounts of man-made debris in the oceans washing up on the beaches where he rides, surfer and artist Kevin Cunningham, embarked on a series of surfboards making, that reclaim trash that washes up onto the shore. It is a dichotomy between the natural and unnatural.

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Gail Potocki: When Art Explores Mankind’s Relationship to Nature

Gail Potocki’s art explores mankind’s relationship to nature, arguably, the most important issue facing the world today. Gail’s paintings pursue narratives of relationship, and trust, and passionately explore the struggle between human desires and the order of Nature.

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“My earliest memories are of the beach, of learning how to swim, bodysurf and finally find my passion of surfing. I have made a life out of going surfing and some of my most enjoyable moments have happened out in the surf - but without the beach, there is no surf, no one without the other. All over the world our beaches are under severe threat, primarily from problems that we have created. Over development is the main culprit and we all need to dig our feet into the sand, and make a stand, and protect that fragile band of gold between the material world and the ocean.”

—Shaun Tomson
Coastal Care junior
The World's Beaches
Sand Mining
One Percent