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.

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African Ports Scramble for Land to Expand as Demand Rises

djibouti-port

With competition for space is intensifying around Africa’s coastal cities as urbanization gains momentum, ports are using dredged material and reclaiming land to expand container terminal capacity.

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Such Quantities of Sand

land-reclamation-hong-kong

Asia’s mania for reclaiming land from the sea spawns mounting problems.

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In Miami, Worries About Cuba Include Grains of Sand (!)

sand-dredging-miami

For some, concerns over the tourism threat Cuba poses to Miami have reached the granular level.

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The Demand for Sand is so High There are Illegal Sand Mining Operations

sand-miner-mumbai-india

Sand isn’t just for beaches. The tiny grains show up in many products of the industrialized world: in the glass and concrete that build cities, in detergents and cosmetics that people use daily, and in the silicon chips and solar panels of advanced technology. But sand comes from rocks that take thousands of years to erode into fine particles, and humans are using it faster than they should.

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Preventing Ecocide in South China Sea

coral-reef-coastal-care

Land reclamation in the South China Sea could be damaging irreplaceable reef ecosystems, threatening the food security of millions. It’s time for a treaty, says leading scientist.

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Life is Not a Beach

sand-mining-coastal-care

Mining for beach sand minerals poses a threat to the economic and social fabric of fishing villages along Tamil Nadu’s coast.

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What Happens to a Coral Reef When an Island is Built on Top?

hong-kong

Seven such coral reefs are being turned into islands, with harbors and landing strips by the Chinese military, and it is destroying a rich ecological network. “It’s the worst thing that has happened to coral reefs in our lifetime.”

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Sand Being Hauled Aways from the Cagayan Beaches in the Philippines, Shipped off to China

sand-mining

At least 2.5 million metric tons of the country’s magnetite were shipped to China from almost five years of controversy-ridden blacksand mining operations in the province of Cagayan, government records showed.

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Documentary ‘Sand Wars’ Highlights Local, Global Sand Crises

beach-sand-mining
News, Sand Mining
Jun
19

The environmental documentary ‘Sand Wars’ was shown at The Center for Ocean Health in Santa Cruz on Thursday, preceded by a presentation by UCSC professor Gary Griggs. As Gary Griggs and “Sand Wars” demonstrate, sand has become a valuable resource worldwide due in large part to continuous construction.

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Sand Mining

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  • Recent / Sand Mining

    African Ports Scramble for Land to Expand as Demand Rises

    djibouti-port

    July 28th, 2015

    With competition for space is intensifying around Africa’s coastal cities as urbanization gains momentum, ports are using dredged material and reclaiming land to expand container terminal capacity.

    Read More

    Such Quantities of Sand

    land-reclamation-hong-kong

    July 27th, 2015

    Asia’s mania for reclaiming land from the sea spawns mounting problems.

    Read More

    In Miami, Worries About Cuba Include Grains of Sand (!)

    sand-dredging-miami

    July 24th, 2015

    For some, concerns over the tourism threat Cuba poses to Miami have reached the granular level.

    Read More

    The Demand for Sand is so High There are Illegal Sand Mining Operations

    sand-miner-mumbai-india

    July 20th, 2015

    Sand isn’t just for beaches. The tiny grains show up in many products of the industrialized world: in the glass and concrete that build cities, in detergents and cosmetics that people use daily, and in the silicon chips and solar panels of advanced technology. But sand comes from rocks that take thousands of years to erode into fine particles, and humans are using it faster than they should.

    Read More

    Preventing Ecocide in South China Sea

    coral-reef-coastal-care

    July 20th, 2015

    Land reclamation in the South China Sea could be damaging irreplaceable reef ecosystems, threatening the food security of millions. It’s time for a treaty, says leading scientist.

    Read More

    Life is Not a Beach

    sand-mining-coastal-care

    July 12th, 2015

    Mining for beach sand minerals poses a threat to the economic and social fabric of fishing villages along Tamil Nadu’s coast.

    Read More

    What Happens to a Coral Reef When an Island is Built on Top?

    hong-kong

    July 11th, 2015

    Seven such coral reefs are being turned into islands, with harbors and landing strips by the Chinese military, and it is destroying a rich ecological network. “It’s the worst thing that has happened to coral reefs in our lifetime.”

    Read More

    Sand Being Hauled Aways from the Cagayan Beaches in the Philippines, Shipped off to China

    sand-mining

    June 20th, 2015

    At least 2.5 million metric tons of the country’s magnetite were shipped to China from almost five years of controversy-ridden blacksand mining operations in the province of Cagayan, government records showed.

    Read More

    Documentary ‘Sand Wars’ Highlights Local, Global Sand Crises

    beach-sand-mining

    June 19th, 2015

    The environmental documentary ‘Sand Wars’ was shown at The Center for Ocean Health in Santa Cruz on Thursday, preceded by a presentation by UCSC professor Gary Griggs. As Gary Griggs and “Sand Wars” demonstrate, sand has become a valuable resource worldwide due in large part to continuous construction.

    Read More

    Suspended Sediment Makes it Harder for Fish to Breathe

    disturbed-waters-dd

    June 17th, 2015

    Researchers have discovered that suspended sediment damages fish gills and can increase the rate of disease in fish. Suspended sediments result from flood plumes, coastal agricultural and industrial development and from dredging operations and are increasing in coastal waters worldwide.

    Read More

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