The Health, Beauty and Ecosystem of Our Beaches is Under Threat.
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!
Surfing in / Celebrate
After 46 years, people around the world are still honoring Earth Day with a different theme every year. This year’s theme is Trees for the Earth. Earth Day Network is calling people to action by encouraging them to plant trees through organized events around the world. Celebrate Earth Day with National Geographic by sharing your best pictures that illustrate the mysteries and magic of our planet.
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In December 1968, the crew of Apollo 8 became the first humans to leave Earth orbit and head for the moon. They also became the first to look back at their home planet and see the entire world in one glimpse. The view they shared had an everlasting impact. “When you see the beauty of our planet, it is striking, it’s sobering…”
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Stuart Haygarth photographed objects he found during an epic hike along Britain’s coast. The results are strange and beautiful.
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Featuring more than forty fun hands-on activities for families with children, “Lessons from the Sand” reveals the science behind the amazing natural wonders found on beaches and the activities explain how beaches work — providing the key to protecting them for future generations. See now in preview “Barking Sand” and “Beach Erosion.”
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Naukluft Coastal Dunes, Namibia, is an image from Brock Hesselsweet.
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The man is called Dan. He’s 28 and homeless, and he grew up on the Eastern Cape. Every day, he cleans the beaches for no other reason than to ‘make the place nice’ because he’s ’embarrassed about the pollution…’
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Featuring more than forty fun hands-on activities for families with children, “Lessons from the Sand” reveals the science behind the amazing natural wonders found on beaches and the activities explain how beaches work — providing the key to protecting them for future generations. A book by Charles O. Pilkey and Orrin H. Pilkey.
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Blizzard Symphony, is an image from Dr Dominique Filippi.
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75 kilometers to the west of Puerto Rico, a lesser-known island of the Puerto Rican archipelago rises from the Caribbean. Mona island’s primary inhabitants are the plants and animals, the diversity of which has led Mona to be nicknamed the “Galapagos of the Caribbean.”
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