Sand Mining

Beach Sand mining on the beach in Morocco View Sand Mining Gallery

The world’s beaches are being mined for sand for a variety of uses (aggregate in concrete, fill, beach renourishment). The practice is often very destructive and poorly managed (or unmanaged). This is a global phenomenon (Morocco, Caribbean Islands, India, South Africa and more). This theft of beach and dune sand is a direct cause of erosion along many shorelines. It is very damaging to the beach fauna and flora, ruinous to beach aesthetics, and frequently causes environmental damage to other coastal ecosystems associated with the beach such as wetlands.

Another major impact of beach sand mining is the loss of protection from storms surges associated with tropical cyclones and tsunamis. Some communities affected by the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean had higher storm surges probably due to beach sand mining resulting in fatalities. Sometimes it is difficult to tell that a beach has been mined. Sand extraction becomes difficult to recognize as the beach readjusts to a new profile after a few storms. But historic accounts of beaches in the Caribbean often reveal that beaches have been narrowed considerably. Mining is particularly senseless in a time of rising sea level when sand is sorely needed as a storm energy buffer.

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Gambian environmental activists take swift Action against Chinese plant polluting their ocean water

After activists said a Chinese-run fish processing plant – that arrived in 2014 – had failed to remove a pipe accused of spewing toxic waste into the sea, local youth issued an ultimatum: Dig the pipe up, or we will. They did, storming the beach.

Comments Off on Gambian environmental activists take swift Action against Chinese plant polluting their ocean water

French journalists labelled spies over Indian mining investigation

Two French journalists have been labelled spies and are the subject of a criminal investigation after they tried to report on sand mining in south India – an assignment they took up because Indian journalists had been threatened for reporting on the issue.

Comments Off on French journalists labelled spies over Indian mining investigation

Beach sand mining in Grenada triggers loss of trees and beach erosion

News, Sand Mining
Nov
20

To the great frustration of some residents, illegal sand mining operations have been ongoing on Grenada’s beaches. Trucks have been seen daily, driving away loaded with bags of beach sand.

Comments Off on Beach sand mining in Grenada triggers loss of trees and beach erosion

Corporate Sand Mining In SF Bay Sparks ‘Sand Wars’

News, Sand Mining
Nov
17

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.

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

News, Sand Mining
Oct
28

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.

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Sierra Leone: Beaches under attack from sand miners

News, Sand Mining
Oct
23

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.

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

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.

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

grains of sand

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?

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.

Comments Off on Did sand mining exacerbate flooding during Hurricane Harvey?

Sand Mining

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  • Recent / Sand Mining

    Gambian environmental activists take swift Action against Chinese plant polluting their ocean water

    December 9th, 2018

    After activists said a Chinese-run fish processing plant – that arrived in 2014 – had failed to remove a pipe accused of spewing toxic waste into the sea, local youth issued an ultimatum: Dig the pipe up, or we will. They did, storming the beach.

    Read More

    French journalists labelled spies over Indian mining investigation

    December 8th, 2018

    Two French journalists have been labelled spies and are the subject of a criminal investigation after they tried to report on sand mining in south India – an assignment they took up because Indian journalists had been threatened for reporting on the issue.

    Read More

    Beach sand mining in Grenada triggers loss of trees and beach erosion

    November 20th, 2018

    To the great frustration of some residents, illegal sand mining operations have been ongoing on Grenada’s beaches. Trucks have been seen daily, driving away loaded with bags of beach sand.

    Read More

    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.

    Read More

    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.

    Read More