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 Archipelago with Ubiquitous Land Reclamation Projects

sand-barges

Whilst reclamation in Jakarta and Bali are more well-known due to the frequent reporting and public controversies, similar projects are also either being planned or underway in other regions across Indonesia.

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Half of all farmed fish have hearing loss due to deformed ears bones

fish-coastal-care

New research suggests the way we raise fish in farms and hatcheries could be causing harmful changes to their bodies.

Comments Off on Half of all farmed fish have hearing loss due to deformed ears bones

Canadian waters getting safer, but research gaps limit full understanding of shipping risks

containers-pollution

The risks of commercial marine shipping accidents across Canada’s regions have been outlined in a new report, including information for different cargo types. The report highlights gaps in understanding and areas for further research.

Comments Off on Canadian waters getting safer, but research gaps limit full understanding of shipping risks

French mayor draws a line in the beach sand

beach-sand-mining
News, Sand Mining
Apr
27

The growing global sand and gravel exploitation has not spared France’s beaches either. Under what has been called the “Le Matelier project,” two companies are considering extracting about 13-million cubic metres of beach sand and gravel for 30 years, in the Gironde estuary.

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Students Reviving Mangrove Wetlands, Bahamas

mangrove-seedlings

Students participated in a pilot programme called the Bahamas Awareness of Mangroves (BAM), a project about mangrove education and restoration.

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Japanese Monks Recorded the Climate for 700 Years

japan-wave-red-gate

Some of the oldest continuous historical records from around the world show us how dramatically the climate has changed.

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A warning for Miami, Miami Beach

miami

Scientists warn that we live in a “doomed city” in new book on climate change. “Retreat From a Rising Sea: Hard Choices in an Age of Climate Change,” is an effort to explain the science for a lay reader. It is clear and authoritative and for South Florida, it is urgent.

Comments Off on A warning for Miami, Miami Beach

Facebook, Google campuses at risk of being flooded due to sea level rise

san francisco bay

Technology giants including Facebook and Google face the prospect of their prestigious Silicon Valley headquarters becoming swamped by water as rising sea levels threaten to submerge much of the property development boom gripping San Francisco and the Bay Area.

Comments Off on Facebook, Google campuses at risk of being flooded due to sea level rise

In honor of Earth Day: National Geographic photos sharing on Instagram

purple

After 46 years, people around the world are still honoring Earth Day with a different theme every year. This year’s theme is Trees for the Earth. Earth Day Network is calling people to action by encouraging them to plant trees through organized events around the world. Celebrate Earth Day with National Geographic by sharing your best pictures that illustrate the mysteries and magic of our planet.

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Recent / Inform

The Archipelago with Ubiquitous Land Reclamation Projects

sand-barges

April 28th, 2016

Whilst reclamation in Jakarta and Bali are more well-known due to the frequent reporting and public controversies, similar projects are also either being planned or underway in other regions across Indonesia.

Read More

Half of all farmed fish have hearing loss due to deformed ears bones

fish-coastal-care

April 28th, 2016

New research suggests the way we raise fish in farms and hatcheries could be causing harmful changes to their bodies.

Read More

Canadian waters getting safer, but research gaps limit full understanding of shipping risks

containers-pollution

April 28th, 2016

The risks of commercial marine shipping accidents across Canada’s regions have been outlined in a new report, including information for different cargo types. The report highlights gaps in understanding and areas for further research.

Read More

French mayor draws a line in the beach sand

beach-sand-mining

April 27th, 2016

The growing global sand and gravel exploitation has not spared France’s beaches either. Under what has been called the “Le Matelier project,” two companies are considering extracting about 13-million cubic metres of beach sand and gravel for 30 years, in the Gironde estuary.

Read More

Students Reviving Mangrove Wetlands, Bahamas

mangrove-seedlings

April 27th, 2016

Students participated in a pilot programme called the Bahamas Awareness of Mangroves (BAM), a project about mangrove education and restoration.

Read More

Japanese Monks Recorded the Climate for 700 Years

japan-wave-red-gate

April 26th, 2016

Some of the oldest continuous historical records from around the world show us how dramatically the climate has changed.

Read More

A warning for Miami, Miami Beach

miami

April 26th, 2016

Scientists warn that we live in a “doomed city” in new book on climate change. “Retreat From a Rising Sea: Hard Choices in an Age of Climate Change,” is an effort to explain the science for a lay reader. It is clear and authoritative and for South Florida, it is urgent.

Read More

Facebook, Google campuses at risk of being flooded due to sea level rise

san francisco bay

April 23rd, 2016

Technology giants including Facebook and Google face the prospect of their prestigious Silicon Valley headquarters becoming swamped by water as rising sea levels threaten to submerge much of the property development boom gripping San Francisco and the Bay Area.

Read More

In honor of Earth Day: National Geographic photos sharing on Instagram

purple

April 22nd, 2016

After 46 years, people around the world are still honoring Earth Day with a different theme every year. This year’s theme is Trees for the Earth. Earth Day Network is calling people to action by encouraging them to plant trees through organized events around the world. Celebrate Earth Day with National Geographic by sharing your best pictures that illustrate the mysteries and magic of our planet.

Read More

Astronaut Photography from Space Helped ‘Discover the Earth’

earth-day-nasa

April 22nd, 2016

In December 1968, the crew of Apollo 8 became the first humans to leave Earth orbit and head for the moon. They also became the first to look back at their home planet and see the entire world in one glimpse. The view they shared had an everlasting impact. “When you see the beauty of our planet, it is striking, it’s sobering…”

Read More


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