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

The world’s cheapest and most expensive beaches

plage-coastalcare
Inform
Jul
29

Travel specialists have released a study offering a comprehensive information regarding summer holidays: a Beach Price Index of 250 of the world’s most popular beachfronts, in 66 countries.

Comments Off on The world’s cheapest and most expensive beaches

A Turtle Saver, NC

sea-turtles

Sea turtles that nest in North Carolina are listed as endangered species in part because many beaches have become dangerous or undesirable places for nesting. One of the biggest issues is light pollution.

Comments Off on A Turtle Saver, NC

Condé Nast’s 11 Best Beaches in France

etretat-coastalcare
Celebrate, Inform
Jul
29

The first rule on finding the best beaches in France? Don’t assume they’re all on the Riviera. While the famed stretch of coastline does have some unforgettable beaches, you won’t want to discount the Normandy shore or the Bay of Biscay…

Comments Off on Condé Nast’s 11 Best Beaches in France

Slimy Green Beaches May Be Florida’s New Normal?

green-algae
Inform, Pollution
Jul
28

The green slime that washed onto Florida beaches earlier this month marks the eighth time since 2004 that toxic algae have fouled the Sunshine State’s storied coastline. The guacamole-thick algae that fouled both coasts will likely be a regular occurrence for the Sunshine State. Here’s why.

Comments Off on Slimy Green Beaches May Be Florida’s New Normal?

World’s deepest blue hole found in South China Sea

belize-coral

A new exploration of a legendary blue hole in the South China Sea has found that the underwater feature is the deepest known on Earth.

Comments Off on World’s deepest blue hole found in South China Sea

Sea level rise a big issue for military in Hampton Roads, science says

navy

A new Union of Concerned Scientists study evaluated the risks of climate-induced inundation at a sample of 18 military bases on the East and Gulf of Mexico coasts. Flooding and storm surge at Langley and other coastal military installations will only get worse — maybe a lot worse.

Comments Off on Sea level rise a big issue for military in Hampton Roads, science says

19,000 Sea Turtle Eggs Seized in Anti-Smuggling Operation

sea-turtle-egg

Police seized 19,000 sea turtle eggs off the coast of Malaysia in a special operation to hobble a major smuggling syndicate.

Comments Off on 19,000 Sea Turtle Eggs Seized in Anti-Smuggling Operation

On first International Day, UNESCO calls for protection of mangrove ecosystems

mangrove-coastalcare-2

Mangroves are rare and vital ecosystems that help to protect coastlines and mitigate the effects of climate change, but their survival is being jeopardized, the United Nations cultural agency said July 26th,2016, on first World’s Mangrove Day, calling for greater preservation efforts as the international community marks the first ever International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem.

Comments Off on On first International Day, UNESCO calls for protection of mangrove ecosystems

Nova Scotia’s remote Sable Island now on Google Street View

sable-horse-halifax
Celebrate, Inform
Jul
24

Parts of the crescent-shaped island, situated roughly 290 kilometres southeast of Halifax, can now be seen on Google Street View. The 42-kilometre long, 1.5-kilometre wide island isn’t the first Canadian national park to appear on Google Map, but its addition is especially unique and exciting because it is largely inaccessible to the general public.

Comments Off on Nova Scotia’s remote Sable Island now on Google Street View

Recent / Inform

The world’s cheapest and most expensive beaches

plage-coastalcare

July 29th, 2016

Travel specialists have released a study offering a comprehensive information regarding summer holidays: a Beach Price Index of 250 of the world’s most popular beachfronts, in 66 countries.

Read More

A Turtle Saver, NC

sea-turtles

July 29th, 2016

Sea turtles that nest in North Carolina are listed as endangered species in part because many beaches have become dangerous or undesirable places for nesting. One of the biggest issues is light pollution.

Read More

Condé Nast’s 11 Best Beaches in France

etretat-coastalcare

July 29th, 2016

The first rule on finding the best beaches in France? Don’t assume they’re all on the Riviera. While the famed stretch of coastline does have some unforgettable beaches, you won’t want to discount the Normandy shore or the Bay of Biscay…

Read More

Slimy Green Beaches May Be Florida’s New Normal?

green-algae

July 28th, 2016

The green slime that washed onto Florida beaches earlier this month marks the eighth time since 2004 that toxic algae have fouled the Sunshine State’s storied coastline. The guacamole-thick algae that fouled both coasts will likely be a regular occurrence for the Sunshine State. Here’s why.

Read More

World’s deepest blue hole found in South China Sea

belize-coral

July 28th, 2016

A new exploration of a legendary blue hole in the South China Sea has found that the underwater feature is the deepest known on Earth.

Read More

Sea level rise a big issue for military in Hampton Roads, science says

navy

July 27th, 2016

A new Union of Concerned Scientists study evaluated the risks of climate-induced inundation at a sample of 18 military bases on the East and Gulf of Mexico coasts. Flooding and storm surge at Langley and other coastal military installations will only get worse — maybe a lot worse.

Read More

19,000 Sea Turtle Eggs Seized in Anti-Smuggling Operation

sea-turtle-egg

July 27th, 2016

Police seized 19,000 sea turtle eggs off the coast of Malaysia in a special operation to hobble a major smuggling syndicate.

Read More

On first International Day, UNESCO calls for protection of mangrove ecosystems

mangrove-coastalcare-2

July 27th, 2016

Mangroves are rare and vital ecosystems that help to protect coastlines and mitigate the effects of climate change, but their survival is being jeopardized, the United Nations cultural agency said July 26th,2016, on first World’s Mangrove Day, calling for greater preservation efforts as the international community marks the first ever International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem.

Read More

Nova Scotia’s remote Sable Island now on Google Street View

sable-horse-halifax

July 24th, 2016

Parts of the crescent-shaped island, situated roughly 290 kilometres southeast of Halifax, can now be seen on Google Street View. The 42-kilometre long, 1.5-kilometre wide island isn’t the first Canadian national park to appear on Google Map, but its addition is especially unique and exciting because it is largely inaccessible to the general public.

Read More

West Bengal: Green hopes run dry as rampant mining goes unchecked

sand-miner-mumbai

July 24th, 2016

Rampant illegal sand mining and excavation of boulders from river beds are threatening the ecology of several rivers and all the three major river basins in West Bengal. Estimates suggest that there are at least 500 quarries in Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar and Cooch Behar districts alone.

Read More


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