Sand Mining

Beach Sand mining on the beach in Morocco View Sand Mining Gallery

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

Offshore Sand And Gravel Extraction Threat

sand-re-nourishment

When Superstorm Sandy rolled over the Jersey shore, it washed away some 20 million cubic yards of beach sand. Replacing that resource is not optional, many believe, because decimated beaches kill tourism economies and leave coastal areas more vulnerable to damage from the next storm.

No comments

The Sand Thieves: World’s Beaches Become Victims of Construction Boom. It’s not Just Cape Verde.

beach-sand-mining

Sand is becoming so scarce that stealing it has become an attractive business model. With residential towers rising ever higher and development continuing apace in Asia and Africa, demand for the finite resource is insatiable.

No comments

Mafia Mixes Riverbed Sand With Beach Sand, Andhra Pradesh, India

sand-mining-mumbai
News, Sand Mining
Sep
29

Sand mafia is now mixing up the beach sand with riverbed sand for construction activity in the city due to scarcity. Though the practice exists in the city for sometime on the outskirts, it has become rampant with shortage of sand.

No comments

“Sand Wars” Won At The 29th Gémeaux Awards, Canada

sand-wars-584

Sand-Wars won the PRIX GEMEAUX award for Best Documentary in the Nature and Sciences category, at the Academy of Canadian and Television (ACCT).

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How Sand Became One of Phnom Penh’s Hottest Commodities, Cambodia

sand-dredging-cambodia

Phnom Penh’s construction frenzy is fueling the need for sand dredging. According to the Cambodian government, between 15,000 to 20,000 cubic meters of sand per day is needed in Phnom Penh to sustain the city’s building boom.

No comments

Monterey Bay, California: Beach Sand Mining from a National Marine Sanctuary; By Gary Griggs

Fig2

The 30-mile long, continuous sandy shoreline around Monterey Bay is the most visited stretch of shoreline on the central coast. Yet, it holds the dubious distinction of being the only active beach sand mining operation along the entire United States shoreline. To make matters even worse, it all takes place along the shoreline of a protected National Marine Sanctuary. Something is seriously wrong with this picture.

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Demand for Sand Takes Off Because Off Fracking

sand-bags
News, Sand Mining
Aug
26

Frackers are expected to use nearly 95 billion pounds of sand this year, up nearly 30% from 2013. There are growing restraints on sand supplies and oil companies’ insatiable appetite has generated renewed interest in second-tier deposits of lower-quality brown sand in places like Texas.

No comments

“El Expolio De La Arena”

el-expolio-arena-1

In this original version, investigative journalist Cristina Sáez, writing for leading spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, exposes how extensive, detrimental, silenced yet utterly pervasive “The pillaging of beach sand” has become.

No comments

9 Houses That Prove Your Dream Home Is Also A Green Home

thatch-huts

“Green building” is an effort to curb the environmental toll of inefficient homes, and it’s taking hold in the construction sector. Nine architects talk about their stunning projects that are not only sustainable, but beautiful too…

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Sand Mining

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Learn simple things that you can do to help protect beaches starting with simply educating others about the beach thereby helping us celebrate the beauty of the world’s beaches.


Join our campaign!

Sign the petition to end global sand mining.


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  • Recent / Sand Mining

    Offshore Sand And Gravel Extraction Threat

    sand-re-nourishment

    October 14th, 2014

    When Superstorm Sandy rolled over the Jersey shore, it washed away some 20 million cubic yards of beach sand. Replacing that resource is not optional, many believe, because decimated beaches kill tourism economies and leave coastal areas more vulnerable to damage from the next storm.

    Read More

    The Sand Thieves: World’s Beaches Become Victims of Construction Boom. It’s not Just Cape Verde.

    beach-sand-mining

    October 13th, 2014

    Sand is becoming so scarce that stealing it has become an attractive business model. With residential towers rising ever higher and development continuing apace in Asia and Africa, demand for the finite resource is insatiable.

    Read More

    Mafia Mixes Riverbed Sand With Beach Sand, Andhra Pradesh, India

    sand-mining-mumbai

    September 29th, 2014

    Sand mafia is now mixing up the beach sand with riverbed sand for construction activity in the city due to scarcity. Though the practice exists in the city for sometime on the outskirts, it has become rampant with shortage of sand.

    Read More

    “Sand Wars” Won At The 29th Gémeaux Awards, Canada

    sand-wars-584

    September 20th, 2014

    Sand-Wars won the PRIX GEMEAUX award for Best Documentary in the Nature and Sciences category, at the Academy of Canadian and Television (ACCT).

    Read More

    How Sand Became One of Phnom Penh’s Hottest Commodities, Cambodia

    sand-dredging-cambodia

    September 8th, 2014

    Phnom Penh’s construction frenzy is fueling the need for sand dredging. According to the Cambodian government, between 15,000 to 20,000 cubic meters of sand per day is needed in Phnom Penh to sustain the city’s building boom.

    Read More

    Monterey Bay, California: Beach Sand Mining from a National Marine Sanctuary; By Gary Griggs

    Fig2

    September 1st, 2014

    The 30-mile long, continuous sandy shoreline around Monterey Bay is the most visited stretch of shoreline on the central coast. Yet, it holds the dubious distinction of being the only active beach sand mining operation along the entire United States shoreline. To make matters even worse, it all takes place along the shoreline of a protected National Marine Sanctuary. Something is seriously wrong with this picture.

    Read More

    Demand for Sand Takes Off Because Off Fracking

    sand-bags

    August 26th, 2014

    Frackers are expected to use nearly 95 billion pounds of sand this year, up nearly 30% from 2013. There are growing restraints on sand supplies and oil companies’ insatiable appetite has generated renewed interest in second-tier deposits of lower-quality brown sand in places like Texas.

    Read More

    “El Expolio De La Arena”

    el-expolio-arena-1

    August 16th, 2014

    In this original version, investigative journalist Cristina Sáez, writing for leading spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, exposes how extensive, detrimental, silenced yet utterly pervasive “The pillaging of beach sand” has become.

    Read More

    9 Houses That Prove Your Dream Home Is Also A Green Home

    thatch-huts

    August 13th, 2014

    “Green building” is an effort to curb the environmental toll of inefficient homes, and it’s taking hold in the construction sector. Nine architects talk about their stunning projects that are not only sustainable, but beautiful too…

    Read More

    The Deadly Occupation Attracting Kenya’s Youth

    sand-mining-kenya

    August 6th, 2014

    Sand is becoming a necessary component in fuelling the construction boom that is driving the rapid pace of urbanisation and rapid economic growth patterns in Kenya. Many of Kenya’s poor youth are turning to sand mining as a quick way of earning money, despite the deadly risks due to poor sand harvesting methods.

    Read More