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

Living on the shores of Hawaii: natural hazards, the environment, and our communities

Book Reviews

“Living on the shores of Hawaii: natural hazards, the environment, and our communities” addresses a wide range of environmental concerns within the context of sustainability and their influence on the future of Hawaii. A book by Chip Fletcher; Robynne Boyd, William J. Neal and Virginia Tice.

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The Dance of the Strandbeests

Brilliant kinetic sculptor and artist Theo Jansen builds ‘strandbeests’ from yellow plastic tubing that is readily available in his native Holland. He lets the strandbeests go on the beaches where they move independently with the wind.

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Artist and scientist make a natural pair: united, they are an educational force

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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Black Earth, White Clay, Granite Boulder, Martha’s Vineyard; By Andy Goldsworthy

Andy Goldsworthy

Black Earth, White Clay, Granite Boulder, Martha’s Vineyard, is a unique photographic work by Andy Goldsworthy.

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Iceberg and Bloom, Images from NASA Earth Observatory


The most interesting art often arises from the convergence of different ideas and influences. And so it is with nature sometimes.

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Paradise Cove, California; By Dominick Guillemot

“The shot to me represents the strength and fragility of the ocean,” Image and Caption by Dominick Guillemot

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Oceania’s seafaring ancients make journey to Paris

The Quai Branly museum of tribal arts in Paris is hosting what is being billed as the first ever comprehensive exhibition on the Lapita peoples’ artefacts and history. Lapita’s settlements were universally located on beach terraces, or on stilt houses situated over reefs, lagoons, and open sea with direct access to the ocean.

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The Silent Evolution: A Coral Reef Sculpture

Artist Jason deCaires Taylor recently completed work on one of the most surreal and awe-inspiring artificial reefs in Cancun/Isla Mujeres, Mexico, in an effort to promote the recovery of nearby natural reefs.

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Atacama Desert, Chile; By Allison Davies

The driest desert in the world meets the ocean, an image from Allison Davies.

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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