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

Tiny Barbuda Fears Increasingly Hostile Climate

Local scientists are warning the tiny 62-square-mile island of Barbuda is becoming one of the most vulnerable spots on earth to the consequences of climate change. Worsening the problem is the long-time practice of sand removal from the island…

Comments Off on Tiny Barbuda Fears Increasingly Hostile Climate

Sand Mining Mafia Exposed: Govt Turns A Blind Eye, Tamil Nadu, India

News, Sand Mining
Nov
17

A CNN-IBN ground report has exposed how sand is being stolen by politically connected mafia despite a ban on sand mining in Tamil Nadu.

Comments Off on Sand Mining Mafia Exposed: Govt Turns A Blind Eye, Tamil Nadu, India

San Francisco Bay Sand Mining Raises Question About Beach Erosion

News, Sand Mining
Nov
15

The sediment in San Francisco Bay, once thought of as a renewable resource, is eroding and being removed much more quickly than nature replenishes it.

Comments Off on San Francisco Bay Sand Mining Raises Question About Beach Erosion

Philippines Black Sand Mining Operations, Gonzaga, Cagayan Province

A dossier and photo reportage by Juergen Lorenz.

Comments Off on Philippines Black Sand Mining Operations, Gonzaga, Cagayan Province

Tamil Nadu plans satellite imaging to check illegal mining, India

News, Sand Mining
Oct
26

Illegal granite quarrying scam recently unearthed in Tamil Nadu, the eleventh largest state in India by area and the seventh most populous state, has prompted the state government to put in place a monitoring mechanism via satellite images, for mining operations in the state.

Comments Off on Tamil Nadu plans satellite imaging to check illegal mining, India

Sand mining: The High Volume – Low Value Paradox

Given the rapid rate of urbanization and the current rate of extraction of sand for construction, and the silent devastation left behind in its wake, the modern process of assigning value, economic or otherwise to this resource seems sadly inchoate and needs to be re-evaluated… By Kiran Pereira.

Comments Off on Sand mining: The High Volume – Low Value Paradox

Midnight Sand Markets Flourish Post Ban, Andhra Pradesh State, India

News, Sand Mining
Sep
28

The midnight-to-morning sand market (a routine feature every night) had customers jostling and haggling for the best deal, some even indulging in panic buying with traders hard selling that sand supply from neighbouring states would stop in a few days… And sky is the limit for a ton of sand.

Comments Off on Midnight Sand Markets Flourish Post Ban, Andhra Pradesh State, India

Boom Time For Illegal Sand Mining, Kerala State, India

News, Sand Mining
Sep
28

With the coastal city of Kozhikode’s construction sector flourishing, illegal sand mining and misuse of sand passes have spawned a multi-crore business, setting off a range of social, legal and environmental issues.

Comments Off on Boom Time For Illegal Sand Mining, Kerala State, India

Destroying Paradise To Make Concrete Blocks: Sand Mining In Sierra Leone

Sand Mining
Sep
14

A new threat has emerged that risks destroying Sierra Leone’s eco-tourism untapped opportunities for sustainable development: Sand Mining. The free-sand-for-all bonanza just exploded. Without permits, hundreds of trucks attack the beaches on a daily basis, hiring local boys as daily laborers to destroy their own communities…

Comments Off on Destroying Paradise To Make Concrete Blocks: Sand Mining In Sierra Leone

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

    EPA Implicates Fracking In Pollution

    December 8th, 2011

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday for the first time that fracking, a controversial method of improving the productivity of oil and gas wells, may be to blame for causing groundwater pollution.

    Read More

    Fishing Community Against Mining Sea For Sand, India

    December 5th, 2011

    Fishing community in the Kerala state, under the banner of the National Fishworkers Forum, has opposed finance minister K M Mani’s suggestion to mine sea sand for use in local construction, and sand exportation, mainly to Singapore.

    Read More

    Chinese Boat Seized Over Illegal Sand Mining In Kinmen, Taiwan

    December 5th, 2011

    Coastguards have arrested the captain of a chinese sand dredger illegally dredging sand in Kinmen waters. So far it is the fourth chinese boat arrested for attempting to steal sand from around the island.

    Read More

    Environment Ministry Removes Obstacles To Sand Mining, India

    November 27th, 2011

    A recent survey by WWF-India along the coast of the Kerala State, had revealed the frightening picture of the extent of illegal coastal beach sand-mining being conducted by organised groups in various places. The Government’s approval for coastal sand mining by local communities using manual methods will have disastrous consequences as the provisions of the order will be twisted by the vested interests, said the State Director of WWF.

    Read More

    Sand Mining In Badagry Suspended Due To Environmental Degradation; Nigeria

    November 26th, 2011

    Governor Fashola of Lagos State has ordered the suspension of all forms of surface sand mining in Badagry area of Lagos, southwest Nigeria, as a result of environmental degradation. The suspension is sequel to a petition written by a resident in Badagry.

    Read More

    Illegal sand mining threatens Suvali’s ecosystem, India

    November 22nd, 2011

    Continuous illegal sand mining from costal village near Surat, has created threat upon the existence of the beaches. Miners are pumping out sand without any fear, while the administration appears totally unaware about the entire situation.

    Read More

    Taxes on natural resources reduce use of raw materials

    November 20th, 2011

    A policy that taxes virgin natural resources (resources that are used for the first time) can be a way of conserving limited resources. This type of tax can also reduce environmental damage, by encouraging the use of less harmful materials or recycled materials that serve the same purpose. This avoids the waste and emissions associated with extraction of raw materials and with the processing of products made from the natural resources.

    Read More

    Sand mining Is Booming Along With Fracking

    September 27th, 2011

    Fracking, the latest craze in the quest to produce oil and gas, has been blamed for environmental problems ranging from flammable tap water to minor earthquakes. Now a new risk is emerging: sand mining. To squeeze hydrocarbons out of shale through hydraulic fracturing of the rock, the process known as fracking, producers need to pump an enormous amount of sand into the ground.

    Read More

    World’s Largest Sea Turtle Nesting Beach in Peril Orissa Due to Massive Erosion

    August 20th, 2011

    Wildlife activists are concerned over gradual destruction of the traditional nesting grounds of Olive Ridley sea turtles at Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary on Orissa coast, following massive and illegal sand dredging at the Mahanadi river mouth.

    Read More

    Sand For Sale: Environment Ravages

    August 18th, 2011

    The “king Of Koh Kong” has defied an order endorsed by the Cambodia’s Prime Minster to halt his controversial and environmentally damaging sand dredging activities on the Tatai river in Koh Kong.

    Read More