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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Crackdown Planned On Illegal River Sand Mining, China

News, Sand Mining

To regulate the river sand market, the Guangdong provincial government has launched a large-scale crackdown on illicit river sand mining gangs.

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Papua New Guinea’s Seabed To Be Mined For Gold And Copper

A new frontier in mining is set to be opened up by the underwater extraction of resources from the seabed off the coast of Papua New Guinea, despite vehement objections from environmentalists and local activists.

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Houses Built on Sand

News, Sand Mining

The excessive extraction of oceanic sand has caused the large-scale erosion of China’s shoreline and fisheries, while a lack of regulation has allowed unstable sand to be used in construction.

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Residents outraged over sand mine plan, Australia

Sand Mining

Cape Cleveland residents are furious a sand mine is a step closer to approval, despite being less than a kilometre away from an internationally protected wetland.

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Illegal Sand Mining Complaints; Sindhdurga, India

News, Sand Mining

A resort in Sindhdurga has complained to the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) of illegal sand dredging in the Mochemaad creek that has destroyed the mangroves.

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Official Rejects Sand-mining Resumption Proposal

News, Sand Mining

Barbuda Council Member Senator Arthur Nibbs says the indicated position of the Barbuda Council Chairman Calvin Punter that the sister-isle could soon be returning to sand mining in order to cushion heavy-hitting financial challenges, is as unsurprising as it going to be damaging.

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Illegal Sand Mining Erodes Riverbanks, Vietnam

Illegal sand mining in the Sai Gon River section between HCM City and Tay Ninh Province to the north-west has caused severe erosion of the river’s banks.

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Turbidity Caused by Sand Dredging Heightens Toxicity Levels and Threaten Marine Life

Monitoring stations at Gladstone Harbour recorded dangerously high turbidity levels due to sand dredging, at the same time as UNESCO was issuing dire warnings about the possible degradation of the Great Barrier Reef’s World Heritage status…

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UN Warns Australia To Protect The Great Barrier Of Reef

UNESCO has warned Australia not to allow development of new ports along the Great Barrier Reef, as the World Heritage-listed natural wonder is under threat from unprecedented coastal development. UNESCO has given Australia eight months to improve management of the Great Barrier Reef before it is listed as in danger.

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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.

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Sign the petition to end global sand mining.

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    Sand Dredging Operations Of “Unprecedented Scale,” Cambodia

    cambodia koh-kong-coastal

    June 29th, 2011

    Sand dredgers have resumed operations of “unprecedented scale” in Koh Kong province’s salt-water estuaries since May, after a drop-off in dredging activities as a result of a 2009 sand-export ban.

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    Ongoing Sand Mining Mafia, Konkan coast, India

    June 20th, 2011

    Sand mining had come to a near standstill last year after the Bombay High Court banned it, however Maharashtra’s creeks and the Konkan coast and beaches do remain prey to the sand mafia.

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    Cuba: Sea levels to rise more than 30 in. by 2100

    June 17th, 2011

    Cuban scientists warn that right now it is urgent to preserve mangroves, coral reefs, sea grass and sand beaches. Each of these ecosystems is a natural barrier to defend the coasts from the impact of climate change and sea level rise. Most of the 400 beaches of Cuba’s territory are affected by erosion with a receding coastline estimated at 1.2 meters per year.

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    Coast Guards Take Action Against Illegal Sand Dredging

    May 9th, 2011

    China’s construction boom has created a strong demand for sand, a key element in making concrete, fueling an explosion in illegal sea sand dredging.

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    Concerns Over Sand Mining and Beaches Alterations, Chennai Coast, India

    April 19th, 2011

    With the new Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) 2011 notification, exploiting the coastline of Chennai, East of India, becomes that much more difficult. But loop holes are found everywhere, and concerns mount over sand mining and other alterations of the beaches’ natural state.

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    A line in the Sand: Rebuilding Stradbroke Island After Sand Mining

    April 15th, 2011

    A line in the sand, that’s what the Queensland State Government is calling its decision to end sand mining on Stradbroke Island in eight years time. An ABC News video, depicting the dilemmas of a sustainable environment and a sustainable economy.

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    Illegal Sand-Mining Threatens Sea Turtle Population, St Kitts-Nevis

    March 19th, 2011

    The biodiversity of St Kitts and Nevis, including the sea turtle population, is under threat due to the increase in illegal sand-mining that is taking place.

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    Goa’s Beaches Best Kept Secret: Illegal Sand Mining, India

    March 16th, 2011

    Sand mining is banned in Goa, but even when a NDTV team filmed openly, nobody blinked an eye.The Goa state’s entire 63-mile coastline is eroded, and some beaches have lost as much as 65 feet of landmass in recent years.

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    No sand mining in fishing areas, India

    February 15th, 2011

    The State government cancelled all the sand mining leases in in coastal areas and would not be giving out new licences.

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    Raised Awareness on Illegal Sand Mining, St Kitts

    February 13th, 2011

    Illegal sand mining across St. Kitts, has become more pronounced with the boom in the construction industry. As a result, several problems have arisen and it became necessary, as a means of deterrence, to educate the general public on the negative effects of the unlawful activity.

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