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.

Loading new locations

Surfing in / Sand Mining

Myanmar: “Our land is collapsing around us”: population and environment at risk from rampant sand mining

News, Sand Mining
Feb
11

Irresponsible sand mining in the Ayeyarwady River is destroying the livelihoods of farmers and fishers and placing environmental stress on the nation’s rice bowl.

Comments Off on Myanmar: “Our land is collapsing around us”: population and environment at risk from rampant sand mining

The hidden environmental toll of mining the World’s sand

Sand mining is the world’s largest mining endeavor, responsible for 85 percent of all mineral extraction. It is also the least regulated, and quite possibly the most corrupt and environmentally destructive.

Comments Off on The hidden environmental toll of mining the World’s sand

Bulgarians decry ‘eco vandalism’ on coast

After pictures emerged on social media earlier this month of a giant sand dune being bulldozed, there’s been an angry reaction among eco activists and the general public.

Comments Off on Bulgarians decry ‘eco vandalism’ on coast

5 billion Dubai megaresort rises from The World

dubai-artificial-islands1

Four kilometers off the Dubai coastline lies Europe. Or a version of it, at least. Comprising six man-made islands styled after a mix of European countries and cities, when completed this $5 billion megaproject will be able to accommodate 16,000 tourists in the height of travel luxury.

Comments Off on 5 billion Dubai megaresort rises from The World

Argentina: The Atlantic Coast loses two meters of beach per year

It happens in the main beaches of Buenos Aires, due to the erosion, generated by the loss of dunes, urban intervention, with walls of cement, coastal roads, the afforestation of the dunes and the theft of sand for constructions.

Comments Off on Argentina: The Atlantic Coast loses two meters of beach per year

The Cement Industry, One of the World’s Largest CO2 Emitters, Pledges to Cut Greenhouse Gases

News, Sand Mining
Dec
31

Cement is the second most-consumed resource in the world, with more than 4 billion tons of the material produced globally every year. As a result, the industry generates approximately 8 percent of global CO2 emissions.

Comments Off on The Cement Industry, One of the World’s Largest CO2 Emitters, Pledges to Cut Greenhouse Gases

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

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


  • Recent / Sand Mining

    Bulgarians decry ‘eco vandalism’ on coast

    February 6th, 2019

    After pictures emerged on social media earlier this month of a giant sand dune being bulldozed, there’s been an angry reaction among eco activists and the general public.

    Read More

    5 billion Dubai megaresort rises from The World

    dubai-artificial-islands1

    January 23rd, 2019

    Four kilometers off the Dubai coastline lies Europe. Or a version of it, at least. Comprising six man-made islands styled after a mix of European countries and cities, when completed this $5 billion megaproject will be able to accommodate 16,000 tourists in the height of travel luxury.

    Read More

    Argentina: The Atlantic Coast loses two meters of beach per year

    January 14th, 2019

    It happens in the main beaches of Buenos Aires, due to the erosion, generated by the loss of dunes, urban intervention, with walls of cement, coastal roads, the afforestation of the dunes and the theft of sand for constructions.

    Read More

    The Cement Industry, One of the World’s Largest CO2 Emitters, Pledges to Cut Greenhouse Gases

    December 31st, 2018

    Cement is the second most-consumed resource in the world, with more than 4 billion tons of the material produced globally every year. As a result, the industry generates approximately 8 percent of global CO2 emissions.

    Read More

    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