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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Chinese Boat Seized Over Illegal Sand Mining In Kinmen, Taiwan

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.

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Environment Ministry Removes Obstacles To Sand Mining, India

News, Sand Mining

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.

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Sand Mining In Badagry Suspended Due To Environmental Degradation; Nigeria

News, Sand Mining

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.

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Illegal sand mining threatens Suvali’s ecosystem, India

News, Sand Mining

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.

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Taxes on natural resources reduce use of raw materials

News, Sand Mining

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.

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Sand mining Is Booming Along With Fracking

News, Sand Mining

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.

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

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.

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Sand For Sale: Environment Ravages

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.

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Ghana’s Ongoing Battle Against Coastal erosion

According to estimates, the ocean claims 1.5 to 2 metres of the 539- kilometres Ghana coastline annually; with the most risky coastal areas, Ada Foah and the Eastern parts of Keta, recording 4 metres. Ghana’s Government decided on a costly and controversial project: the building of a 68 million euros, 30 kms “Ada Defense Sea Wall” to “salvage the people in the area from the ravages of the sea…”

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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.

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  • Recent / Sand Mining

    The damages caused by Singapore’s insatiable thirst for land

    June 4th, 2010

    Fuelled by Singapore’s land and construction demands sand mining is wreaking environmental destruction across south-east Asia.

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    Sand Trafficking: Elaborate Schemes, Worlwide

    June 1st, 2010

    Elaborate schemes to steal beach sand.

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    Tar sands oil extraction spreading rapidly, report warns.

    May 30th, 2010

    BP is developing tar sands in Alberta and also in Venezuela, the world’s second largest reserves after Canada, where it is active on the Petromonagas block and is also considering the Ayacucho 2 block.

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    Sand mining company proposes expanding Stradbroke national parks

    May 21st, 2010

    The sand mining company Unimin is calling for large areas of Stradbroke Island off Brisbane to be declared national park as soon as possible.

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    Ancestors’ Bones Halt Sand Mining

    May 20th, 2010

    Greg McDonald says remains of his Ngati Wai ancestors from centuries ago lie on the Pakiri Beach seabed.

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    Singapore sand imports threaten Cambodian ecosystem

    May 11th, 2010

    Singapore, which prides itself on being one of the most environmentally friendly nations in Asia, is expanding its coastline with irresponsibly dredged sand from Cambodia, according to a report from an environmental NGO.

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    Mining ‘eating’ dunes at Northland refuge

    May 7th, 2010

    Erosion of dunes at a remote Northland beach and wildlife refuge is being blamed on dredges mining the near shore.

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    Singapore accused of launching Sand Wars

    April 26th, 2010

    By paying smugglers to steal under the cover of night, entire picturesque sandy beaches of Indonesia and Malaysia, carving out millions of tons of coastline.

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    Last-Chance Beaches: Morocco

    April 25th, 2010

    You’d think that a desert country like Morocco would have enough sand for everyone. But at least a few parties feel the need to steal sand from Morocco’s Atlantic beaches, by literally bulldozing dunes, trucking the sand away to make cement, and leaving behind ugly lunar landscapes.

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    Take Action to End Global Beach Sand Mining!

    SOS Save Our Sand

    April 24th, 2010

    We urge you to become part of the movement by signing the petition to end beach sand mining.

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