Inform

The health, beauty and ecosystem of our beaches is under threat

The driving cause for most of these problems is overdevelopment and poor coastal management. If no buildings crowded the shoreline, there would be no shoreline armoring, beach nourishment, threats to the beach fauna and flora or shoreline erosion problems.

Coastal Care Introduction

“Beach sand: so common, so complex, so perfect for sandcastles; and now it is a precious and vanishing resource.”

—Orrin H. Pilkey

Beaches are the most visited natural attraction on the planet. The coast attracts millions of vacationing people each year. People love the sand, the surf, the sea breeze, and the vacation ambiance so much that many come to the beach to stay. There is a magical feeling living near the ocean, but human migration towards the coast comes with a high environmental price tag.

A majority of the world’s population lives within 50 km of the coast and the projections are 75% by the year 2025. This strip of land represents only 3% of the total land mass of the planet. In this context, it is easier to understand the environmental impact. Over 70% of the earth is covered by water and with so many people living on the coast, we are polluting a major source of food, the oceans.

A beautiful undeveloped beach in Indonesia.

A beautiful undeveloped beach in Indonesia.

The loss of life and economic impacts of major storms – cyclones, typhoons, and hurricanes – and tsunamis would be reduced drastically if beaches were not developed. Unfortunately, recent examples of the problem are numerous: 1999 Indian cyclone Orissa (over 10,000 dead and $5 billion in damage), 2004 Indian Ocean tsumani (over 250,000 dead), 2005 Hurricane Katrina (over 1,800 killed and $80 billion in damage), and 2008 Hurricane Ike (over 30 killed and $30 billion in damage).

Today, the health, beauty, and ecosystem function of the world’s beaches are under threat and the driving causes for most of these problems are over-development and poor coastal management. If no buildings crowded the shoreline there would be no shoreline armoring, beach nourishment, threats to the beach fauna and flora or shoreline erosion problems.

It is important to distinguish between erosion and erosion problems. Erosion refers to the landward retreat of the shoreline. Most of the world’s shorelines are eroding, a very few are building out (accreting). There is no erosion problem, however, until someone builds something next to a shoreline. All over the world in remote areas, shorelines are slowly retreating and no one cares. In a global sense, our continents are slowly shrinking, and in a very real sense, erosion problems are man made. On a high-rise, condo-lined shoreline like those in Spain and the Florida coast, erosion is a huge problem and will only worsen in the future as sea level rise accelerates. Sea level rise will accelerate erosion of the shoreline and have a dramatic impact on our infrastructures, our economies, and our way of life.

Sea level rise is one of the most important causes of global shoreline erosion. If the coastline is developed, shoreline armoring is often used in an effort to save the buildings from the eroding shoreline. Once this begins, the beaches will degrade and eventually be lost. In the long-term, however, these armoring efforts are in vain. The ocean will continue to rise as the rate of sea level rise is expected to increase as the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets continue to degrade. The situation is made worse now because beach houses and condominiums are being built closer to the ocean than they were 25 years ago. Many of us are familiar with images of large beach houses about to fall victim to the oceans simply from daily erosion accelerated by the ever rising sea.

The work of the Santa Aguila Foundation will emphasize the impacts of sand mining and shoreline armoring: the first because the effects of sand mining have been largely ignored on a global scale and the latter due to its overwhelming negative impacts on the world’s beaches.


Surfing in / Inform

Green delight as Trump’s Irish wall plans withdrawn

ireland-trump

Under growing international pressure, Trump International Golf Links (TIGL) has rescinded their proposal for the 3km seawall at Doughmore Beach, Ireland.

Comments Off on Green delight as Trump’s Irish wall plans withdrawn

Growing Pains: Arctic Sea Ice at Record Lows

1-nasa

Every northern fall and winter, cooling ocean and air temperatures cause the floating cap of Arctic sea ice to grow from its annual minimum extent toward a maximum between February and April. So far in 2016, though, the Arctic Ocean and neighboring seas have been slow to freeze, setting both daily and monthly record lows.

Comments Off on Growing Pains: Arctic Sea Ice at Record Lows

Polar ice the size of India has melted into the sea, scientists say

arctic-melting-ice

As global temperatures continue to rise and break records, polar sea ice covering an area about the size of India has vanished, according to climate scientists. The trend of polar ice melt has been alarming researchers, with sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctica being measured at record lows for this time of year.

Comments Off on Polar ice the size of India has melted into the sea, scientists say

All Human-Made Objects on Earth Amount to 30 Trillion Tons

komodo-plastic

Scientists recently discovered that all objects on Earth created by people adds up to an astoundingly large figure. All of these objects are collectively known as Earth’s “technosphere.” Distributed evenly over the planet’s surface, the technosphere would translate into about 110 pounds (50 kilograms) for every 11 square feet (1 square meter).

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$100 Billion Chinese-Made City Near Singapore To Be Built

land-reclamation-hong-kong

The scale of the projects is dizzying. Country Garden’s Forest City, on four artificial islands, will house 700,000 people on an area four times the size of New York’s Central Park.

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Powerful Earthquake Exposes New Land Near Kaikoura, NZ

kaikoura-2
Inform
Dec
4

On November 13, 2016, a powerful 7.8 magnitude quake jolted the northeastern coast of New Zealand’s South Island, lifting the seabed by 0.5 to 2 meters (2 to 7 feet). From above, satellites captured an image of a thin swath of newly exposed land ringing the Kaikoura Peninsula and other parts of South Island.

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The victory at Standing Rock could mark a turning point

reduce-co2

The defeat of an energy company by indigenous activists shows what nonviolent unity can accomplish. There are lessons here as we enter a challenging new age.

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Princess Cruises Hit With Largest-Ever Criminal Penalty For ‘Deliberate Pollution’

venezia-cruise-ship
News, Pollution
Dec
2

The California-based cruise operator, Princess Cruise Lines, will pay a $40 million fine for “deliberate pollution of the seas and intentional acts to cover it up,” according to the Department of Justice, which calls it “the largest-ever criminal penalty involving deliberate vessel pollution.”

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Everglades mangroves might hold billion-dollar fix for climate change

mangrove-roots-coastalcare

The price of fighting climate change in South Florida has so far focused largely on the billions needed to install pumps, raise roads and retrofit the sprawling infrastructure that keeps the region above sea level. But South Florida might already have a valuable weapon that for ages has been sucking up carbon and keeping the planet cool: mangrove wetlands in the Everglades.

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Recent / Inform

Green delight as Trump’s Irish wall plans withdrawn

ireland-trump

December 6th, 2016

Under growing international pressure, Trump International Golf Links (TIGL) has rescinded their proposal for the 3km seawall at Doughmore Beach, Ireland.

Read More

Growing Pains: Arctic Sea Ice at Record Lows

1-nasa

December 6th, 2016

Every northern fall and winter, cooling ocean and air temperatures cause the floating cap of Arctic sea ice to grow from its annual minimum extent toward a maximum between February and April. So far in 2016, though, the Arctic Ocean and neighboring seas have been slow to freeze, setting both daily and monthly record lows.

Read More

Polar ice the size of India has melted into the sea, scientists say

arctic-melting-ice

December 5th, 2016

As global temperatures continue to rise and break records, polar sea ice covering an area about the size of India has vanished, according to climate scientists. The trend of polar ice melt has been alarming researchers, with sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctica being measured at record lows for this time of year.

Read More

All Human-Made Objects on Earth Amount to 30 Trillion Tons

komodo-plastic

December 5th, 2016

Scientists recently discovered that all objects on Earth created by people adds up to an astoundingly large figure. All of these objects are collectively known as Earth’s “technosphere.” Distributed evenly over the planet’s surface, the technosphere would translate into about 110 pounds (50 kilograms) for every 11 square feet (1 square meter).

Read More

$100 Billion Chinese-Made City Near Singapore To Be Built

land-reclamation-hong-kong

December 5th, 2016

The scale of the projects is dizzying. Country Garden’s Forest City, on four artificial islands, will house 700,000 people on an area four times the size of New York’s Central Park.

Read More

Powerful Earthquake Exposes New Land Near Kaikoura, NZ

kaikoura-2

December 4th, 2016

On November 13, 2016, a powerful 7.8 magnitude quake jolted the northeastern coast of New Zealand’s South Island, lifting the seabed by 0.5 to 2 meters (2 to 7 feet). From above, satellites captured an image of a thin swath of newly exposed land ringing the Kaikoura Peninsula and other parts of South Island.

Read More

The victory at Standing Rock could mark a turning point

reduce-co2

December 4th, 2016

The defeat of an energy company by indigenous activists shows what nonviolent unity can accomplish. There are lessons here as we enter a challenging new age.

Read More

Princess Cruises Hit With Largest-Ever Criminal Penalty For ‘Deliberate Pollution’

venezia-cruise-ship

December 2nd, 2016

The California-based cruise operator, Princess Cruise Lines, will pay a $40 million fine for “deliberate pollution of the seas and intentional acts to cover it up,” according to the Department of Justice, which calls it “the largest-ever criminal penalty involving deliberate vessel pollution.”

Read More

Everglades mangroves might hold billion-dollar fix for climate change

mangrove-roots-coastalcare

December 2nd, 2016

The price of fighting climate change in South Florida has so far focused largely on the billions needed to install pumps, raise roads and retrofit the sprawling infrastructure that keeps the region above sea level. But South Florida might already have a valuable weapon that for ages has been sucking up carbon and keeping the planet cool: mangrove wetlands in the Everglades.

Read More

Plastic Island: How our throwaway culture is turning paradise into a graveyard

oahua

December 1st, 2016

The distance from humanity yawns out in front of you when you stand on the pale sands of this tiny Pacific island. Midway Atoll is just about the furthest piece of land from civilization and its constant engine whir, data and jostle. Standing on the island’s remote shoreline brings a calm and humility — until you look down at your feet.

Read More


Coastal Care junior
The World's Beaches
Sand Mining
One Percent