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

Educate


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.

Inform

Protect


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

Educate

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.

Educate

Celebrate


You Can Make a Difference and Help Save Our Beaches

Protect

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.

Protect


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 / Features

Wave of Toxic Green Beaches, France; By Sharlene Pilkey

Saint-Michel-en-Greve, Brittany, France

With beaches and coastlines all over the world already under attack from sea level rise, pollution, mining, driving, seawall construction and human development encroachment, another menace is mounting an assault.

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Preserving the health of the Rio de la Plata

Research may lead to policies and regulations on side mining in Uruguay.

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Nihiwatu Beach, Sumba, Indonesia; By Olaf Guerrand

Nihiwatu Beach, Sumba, Indonesia

Nihiwatu Beach, a natural, beautiful and mostly undeveloped beach on the island of Sumba, Indonesia.

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Anse Trabaud, FWI; By Claire Le Guern

Anse Trabaud, FWI

On the Atlantic coast south of Martinique island, FWI, Anse Trabaud is a pristine secluded sandy beach stretching over a kilometer between Pointe d’Enfer and Pointe Baham.

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Fire Island, NY; By Andrew Cooper

Fire Island, NY

Fire Island is a barrier island that runs east to west on the southern coast of Long Island in New York.

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Documenting The Global Impacts Of Beach Sand Mining

For centuries, beach sand has been mined for use as aggregate in concrete, for heavy minerals, and for construction fill.

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Assawoman Island; By Andrew Cooper

Assawoman Island, Virginia

Assawoman Island is in Virginia, USA on the peninsula of land between the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay.

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Oil spills on the worlds beaches and in the worlds oceans

Beaches and river shorelines all over the world are at risk from oil spills.

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Cedar Island, NC; By Andrew Cooper

Cedar Island, NC

Cedar Island, North Carolina, USA is an east – west trending island along the southern rim of Pamlico Sound.

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More / Beach Of The Month

Colombia’s Tayrona National Natural Park: A Caribbean Coast Gem; By Nelson Rangel-Buitrago & William J. Neal

September 1st, 2017

Colombia’s Caribbean coast has a rich geological, biological and cultural diversity that is reflected in the complex coastal zone extending from the border of Panama to that of Venezuela. One of the most spectacular regions in both this diversity and scenery is the Tayrona National Natural Park (TNNP).

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The end of the world’s most famous beaches; By Orrin H. Pilkey and J. Andrew G. Cooper

August 1st, 2017

All over the world there are beaches lined with condos, hotels, restaurants and the like, in high-rise buildings (i.e., skyscrapers). Such beaches are generally the nation’s premier tourist areas, important to the local people and the local economy and prime spots for national and international vacationers. The powers that be in most of these places continue high-rise construction and seem oblivious of the sea level rise.

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The natural bridges of Santa Cruz County; By Gary Griggs

June 1st, 2017

While most coastlines often appear to be stable and permanent over the short time span of our visits, and some are, there are many others where the materials making up the coastal bluffs or cliffs are no match for the forces the sea exerts…Over time, the ocean always wins. In baseball terms, Mother Nature always bats last.

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Sandbagging at the Shore: North Carolina’s Coastal Sand Bags and Political Sandbaggers; By William Neal, Orrin Pilkey & Norma Longo

April 1st, 2017

The wonder of modern English is how social use of language expands and changes the meaning of words. Sand bag is a bag filled with sand used for temporary construction—quickly made, easily transported, and easily removed. Typically, sandbagging is the emplacement of sand bags to construct a temporary protective wall or barrier, such as a dike or dam to hold back flood waters , or protection on the battlefield. But the term ‘sandbagging’ has taken on an array of other meanings…

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Englands’ Jurassic Coast; By Gary Griggs

February 1st, 2017

In 2001, ninety-six miles of the south coast of England along the English Channel was designated as a World Heritage Site. This picturesque stretch of cliffs and beaches extends from Exmouth on the east to Studland Bay on the west.

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Beach cusps: shoreline symmetry; By Gary Griggs

December 1st, 2016

There are many strikingly regular patterns in nature that have long intrigued scientists and non-scientists alike. Beach cusps are one of these.

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Presque Isle Lake Erie, Pennsylvania; by Orrin H. Pilkey & Norma Longo, Nicholas School of the Environment Duke University

November 1st, 2016

Presque Isle in Lake Erie (one of the U.S. Great Lakes), Pennsylvania, is a recurved sand spit with seven miles of shoreline facing the open lake. As many as 4 million visitors enjoy this beautiful state park each year, in all seasons, for a variety of activities that include hiking, bird watching, skiing, and fun at the beaches.

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Bowling Ball Beach, Mendocino Coast, California; By Gary Griggs

September 1st, 2016

California has over 300 miles of beaches, those that most residents and visitors think about are the ones consisting of find-grained white sand. But there are also some interesting anomalies. One of California’s strangest beaches sits 30 miles south of the picturesque north coast town of Mendocino…

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Archive / Beach Of The Month