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

India’s Central Government To Take Up Illegal Sand Mining With States

sand-miner-mumbai
News, Sand Mining
Oct
30

Concerned over large scale illegal sand mining across states, the Union mines ministry has convened meeting of all States and Union Territories next week to discuss the legal and administrative frameworks in place in each state to govern sand mining and the actual experience of states in handling such cases.

No comments

Oceans Arrived Early to Earth, New Study Finds

wave-underneath
Inform
Oct
30

Earth is known as the Blue Planet because of its oceans, which cover more than 70 percent of the planet’s surface and are home to the world’s greatest diversity of life. While water is essential for life on the planet, the answers to two key questions have eluded us: where did Earth’s water come from and when?

No comments

New Research Quantifies What’s Causing Sea Level to Rise

costa-rica-erosion-dd

There have been a number of studies recently on ocean warming and sea-level rise. Collectively, they are helping scientists unite around an emerging understanding of climate change and its impact on the Earth.

No comments

Two Years After Hurricane Sandy : Fortifying New York – How Well Armored Are We For The Next Superstorm?

nyc-subway-flood

New York City officials expect sea levels to rise by more than 2.5 feet over the next four decades, an increase that — if not properly addressed now — could put 800,000 people’s homes underwater in the event of another storm.

No comments

Two Years On: Sandy Storm Inspires More Climate Research

mantoloking-nj-post-sandy

This Wednesday marks the second anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, shocking photos showed the huge extent of the destruction caused by the storm. Sandy has spurred an unprecedented amount of research, attempting to tackle the questions about what role climate change might have played in producing or worsening the storm.

No comments

Abbot Point: Study on Dumping of Spoil in Wetlands Not Required

coal-mining-greenpeace

The federal government has waived the need for a full environmental impact study into the dumping of dredging spoil onto sensitive wetlands under the plan to expand the Abbot Point coal port in Queensland.

No comments

Fragment of Ancient Australia Found Under Vanuatu

australia-continent
Inform
Oct
29

A fragment of ancient Australia has been found under Vanuatu in the South Pacific, raising questions about how continents are formed, researchers say.

No comments

The Prevention and Control of Shipping and Port Emissions in China, NRDC

shanghai
News, Pollution
Oct
28

China is home to seven of the world’s ten busiest container ports. About 26 percent of the world’s containers pass through the top ten Chinese ports every year. Every ship and truck brings pollution along with its cargo, and China is paying a high price for pollution from shipping. A NRDC new report

No comments

Gonzalo Stirs Up Sediment and the Carbon Cycle

bermuda-sediment-2
Inform
Oct
26

On October 17, 2014, the eye of category 3 Hurricane Gonzalo passed right over Bermuda. The potent storm also stirred up the sediments in the shallow bays and lagoons around Bermuda, spreading a huge mass of sediment across the North Atlantic Ocean.

No comments

Recent / Inform

India’s Central Government To Take Up Illegal Sand Mining With States

sand-miner-mumbai

October 30th, 2014

Concerned over large scale illegal sand mining across states, the Union mines ministry has convened meeting of all States and Union Territories next week to discuss the legal and administrative frameworks in place in each state to govern sand mining and the actual experience of states in handling such cases.

Read More

Oceans Arrived Early to Earth, New Study Finds

wave-underneath

October 30th, 2014

Earth is known as the Blue Planet because of its oceans, which cover more than 70 percent of the planet’s surface and are home to the world’s greatest diversity of life. While water is essential for life on the planet, the answers to two key questions have eluded us: where did Earth’s water come from and when?

Read More

New Research Quantifies What’s Causing Sea Level to Rise

costa-rica-erosion-dd

October 30th, 2014

There have been a number of studies recently on ocean warming and sea-level rise. Collectively, they are helping scientists unite around an emerging understanding of climate change and its impact on the Earth.

Read More

Two Years After Hurricane Sandy : Fortifying New York – How Well Armored Are We For The Next Superstorm?

nyc-subway-flood

October 29th, 2014

New York City officials expect sea levels to rise by more than 2.5 feet over the next four decades, an increase that — if not properly addressed now — could put 800,000 people’s homes underwater in the event of another storm.

Read More

Two Years On: Sandy Storm Inspires More Climate Research

mantoloking-nj-post-sandy

October 29th, 2014

This Wednesday marks the second anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, shocking photos showed the huge extent of the destruction caused by the storm. Sandy has spurred an unprecedented amount of research, attempting to tackle the questions about what role climate change might have played in producing or worsening the storm.

Read More

Abbot Point: Study on Dumping of Spoil in Wetlands Not Required

coal-mining-greenpeace

October 29th, 2014

The federal government has waived the need for a full environmental impact study into the dumping of dredging spoil onto sensitive wetlands under the plan to expand the Abbot Point coal port in Queensland.

Read More

Fragment of Ancient Australia Found Under Vanuatu

australia-continent

October 29th, 2014

A fragment of ancient Australia has been found under Vanuatu in the South Pacific, raising questions about how continents are formed, researchers say.

Read More

The Prevention and Control of Shipping and Port Emissions in China, NRDC

shanghai

October 28th, 2014

China is home to seven of the world’s ten busiest container ports. About 26 percent of the world’s containers pass through the top ten Chinese ports every year. Every ship and truck brings pollution along with its cargo, and China is paying a high price for pollution from shipping. A NRDC new report

Read More

Gonzalo Stirs Up Sediment and the Carbon Cycle

bermuda-sediment-2

October 26th, 2014

On October 17, 2014, the eye of category 3 Hurricane Gonzalo passed right over Bermuda. The potent storm also stirred up the sediments in the shallow bays and lagoons around Bermuda, spreading a huge mass of sediment across the North Atlantic Ocean.

Read More

Albania’s Coastal Wetlands: Killing Field for Migrating Birds

buna-delta

October 25th, 2014

Albania’s wetlands are officially protected under national and international agreements, but signs of illegal harvesting are abundant, suggesting a far different reality.

Read More


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