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

    Corporate Sand Mining In SF Bay Sparks ‘Sand Wars’

    November 17th, 2018

    Six years ago, nonprofit environmental advocacy organization San Francisco Baykeeper sued sand-mining firm Hanson Marine Operations and the State Lands Commission to stop sand mining in the Bay. However, in November, an appeals court judge sided with the State Lands Commission and the sand mining company.

    Read More

    China’s search for sand is destroying Mozambique’s pristine beaches

    October 28th, 2018

    The community of Nagonha in northern Mozambique sits on a tall dune with lush greenery on the one side, and a turquoise Indian ocean on the other. It should have been the kind of unspoiled landscape that Mozambique’s growing tourism industry is beginning to take advantage of. Instead, a Chinese mining company has irrevocably tarnished the scenery, and people’s lives.

    Read More

    Sierra Leone: Beaches under attack from sand miners

    October 23rd, 2018

    Twenty-four hours a day, seven-days-a-week, truckloads of sand are being hauled from the beach into Freetown to satisfy the needs of construction companies and contractors. Hundreds of tonnes of sand from the beaches is mined and sold to builders as construction material. The activity is technically illegal but laws, as is often the case, are not being implemented or enforced.

    Read More

    As sand mining grows, Asia’s deltas are sinking, water experts warn

    September 29th, 2018

    Sand mining from rivers is depriving many low-lying Asian deltas of the sediment they need to maintain themselves, raising the risk of worsening land loss to sea level rise, researchers say.

    Read More

    A microscopic look at why the world is running out of sand; Video

    grains of sand

    September 4th, 2018

    The usefulness of sand depends on the science of each tiny little grain. We went on a sand scavenger hunt to collect some samples, look at them under a microscope, and try to figure out why sand scarcity is such a problem.

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    Did sand mining exacerbate flooding during Hurricane Harvey?

    August 14th, 2018

    Following Hurricane Harvey, the sand mining industry that has boomed along the San Jacinto River has come under fierce criticism. Protestors, environmental groups and state officials have argued that operating within the floodways reduced the river’s capacity to hold the surge of water.

    Read More

    Sardinia sand thieves face fines of up to €3,000

    August 9th, 2018

    Sardinian authorities are getting tough with tourists who steal sand from the island’s pristine beaches as a souvenir and are issuing fines of up to Euros €3,000.

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    Ugandan children abandon school for sand mining

    August 6th, 2018

    More and more Ugandan children drop out of school, lured into sand mining on the banks of River Nile in Busaana Sub-county, and joining what seems a lucrative venture to earn a living.

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    Archive / Sand Mining