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.
Surfing in / Sand Mining
Just a few miles off New Jersey’s coast is a series of underwater hills on the ocean floor, made of perfect-quality beach sand tens of thousands of years old. The value of these ancient sand hills to sea life, fishermen, scientists and beach-building engineers has set up a fight between those who would protect them and those who would mine them. And that battle is expected to intensify as rising sea levels are expected to magnify.
Comments Off on Fishermen, beach builders fight for underwater sand hills
Every part of modern life is touched by technology, and every part of technology requires something that once came from the ground: the silicon dioxide in your cell phone, the phosphorous to grow your food, the copper in the wires that brought this article to your eyes, and a thousand other examples. This is the imprint photographer Edward Burtynsky felt compelled to capture.
Comments Off on Pictures Show How Modern Life Is Altering the Natural World
An investment company wants to build a sand mining and processing plant in 2 Wisconsin counties, that would eliminate about 17 acres of pristine forested wetland. Wetlands are valuable habits for fish and wildlife and control flooding. Approval of the project would mean the largest single loss of wetlands for a sand project in the region, since at least 2008.
Comments Off on Sand Mining Project Targets Wetlands; Wisconsin
As ice continues to plague parts of Metro Vancouver, some beach-goers were spotted scooping up sand from Kitsilano Beach. Stealing a pail of beach sand is not a solution to Vancouver’s road salt shortage – and it could result in a hefty fine.
Comments Off on Leave beach sand alone, Vancouver warns on Day 3 of salt shortage frenzy
The US is looking at Bahamian sand as a resource to shore-up Florida’s eroding coastline.
Comments Off on Us Warned: “Hands Off Our Beaches!”
They are called the “ghost tracks” of Cape May County beach. And until a couple of years ago, no one had seen them in about 80 years.
Comments Off on The Jersey Shore’s “ghost tracks”
The government’s grand long-term blueprint for Hong Kong, which envisions a 1,000-hectare man-made island in the middle of the sea, could cost over HK$400 billion, a concern group estimated.
Comments Off on Government’s ambitious 2030 land reclamation plan to cost HK$400 billion
The US nation’s last remaining coastal sand mine may face closure. The California Coastal Commission has put Marina’s Lapis sand mine on notice after a nearly six-year investigation into multiple violations of the state’s Coastal Act.
Comments Off on Marina: Nation’s last coastal sand mine might be shut down by Coastal Commission
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.
Comments Off on $100 Billion Chinese-Made City Near Singapore To Be Built