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

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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Benin: Erosion-inducing coastal sand mining to be outlawed

News, Sand Mining
Apr
30

Faced with rising sea levels and coastal erosion caused in part by coastal sand mining, carting away of free beach sand for commercial uses, the national government has begun a campaign to save its coastal sand by digging up sand inland, instead. But communities near these newly-created sand collection spots are fighting back.

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Mining Of Coastal Sand: A Critical Environmental And Economic Problem For Morocco

Mining of Coastal Sand

In Morocco, the extraction of beach and dune sand for use in the construction industry is destroying significant portions of the nation’s natural heritage.

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Sand Mining

You can make a difference and help save our beaches

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


Join our campaign!

Sign the petition to end global sand mining.


  • Sand Mining Resources

  • More / Sand Mining

    Sand mining ravages African beaches

    October 21st, 2017

    Sand is a natural resource that is more and more exploited. Worldwide, beaches are mined for sand. As many other countries in the world, African States have legislated to better protect their coastal environment, but this did not put an end to illegal beach sand mining and its detrimental effects on the ecosystems.

    Read More

    A public company attempts to improve the sand market, Algeria

    October 21st, 2017

    Sand scarcity is one of the main cause of implementation deplays in the construction industry in Algeria. The severity of the sand depletion is such that prices have gone up tenfold during this latest construction boom.

    Read More

    Sand becomes “increasingly scarce and expensive”

    October 16th, 2017

    A symposium taking place at Dutch Design Week later this month will discuss the rapid depletion of the world’s sand reserves, which could leave supplies of the high-quality sand used in the glass industry exhausted within 20 years.

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    How a worldwide sand shortage could impact the design world

    October 12th, 2017

    Later this month, Dutch Design Week will host a symposium entitled “The Abundance and Scarcity of Sand.” Notable speakers include geologist and author Michael Welland, as well as Denis Delestrac, whose 2013 documentary, Sand Wars, showcased the lengths that contractors and smugglers alike will go to hoard and sell a commodity second only to freshwater, in terms of consumption.

    Read More

    French beaches’ sand for sale illegally on internet

    October 11th, 2017

    A french mayor discovered that sand from the town’s local beach, was for sale on the internet. Maybe rather inconspicuous at first glance, this occurence instead reveals far deeper tensions related to the exploitation of this finite ressources.

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    The world hungers for sand

    September 30th, 2017

    The ravenous hunger for sand worldwide was spotlighted in the 2013 documentary “Sand Wars” by French filmmaker Denis Delestrac, which warned that illegal sand mining could make beaches a thing of the past by the end of the 21st century.

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    A looming tragedy of the sand commons

    September 8th, 2017

    Because of the difficulty in regulating their consumption, common-pool resources are prone to tragedies of the commons as people may selfishly extract them without considering long-term consequences, eventually leading to overexploitation or degradation. Even when sand mining is regulated, it is often subject to rampant illegal extraction and trade.

    Read More

    Sand Mining: Growing Pains of Cross-Border Trade

    August 29th, 2017

    When powerful storms strike, like Typhoon Hato in southern China or Hurricane Harvey in Texas, the surging water scatters tons of sand – an essential ingredient required for the rebuilding soon to follow. Such storms add to growing global demand for sand with poor consequences for the economy and environment.

    Read More

    Archive / Sand Mining