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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Surfing in / Sand Mining

A looming tragedy of the sand commons

Because of the difficulty in regulating their consumption, common-pool resources are prone to tragedies of the commons as people may selfishly extract them without considering long-term consequences, eventually leading to overexploitation or degradation. Even when sand mining is regulated, it is often subject to rampant illegal extraction and trade.

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Sand Mining: Growing Pains of Cross-Border Trade

News, Sand Mining
Aug
29

When powerful storms strike, like Typhoon Hato in southern China or Hurricane Harvey in Texas, the surging water scatters tons of sand – an essential ingredient required for the rebuilding soon to follow. Such storms add to growing global demand for sand with poor consequences for the economy and environment.

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Why Sardinia’s tourists taking sand as souvenir face fine

Famed for its pristine beaches, the Mediterranean island of Sardinia has hit back at holidaymakers who have been pinching its sand.

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Kenya’s sand wars

Communities are pitted against sand harvesters, powerful cartels and one another as demand for sand in Kenya grows.

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Trouble in paradise: the Canary Island beach accused of illegally importing sand

News, Sand Mining
Jul
29

Investigation launched into allegations that sand in Gran Canaria resort was sourced from Africa’s last colony, in breach of international law.

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Sand is so important, people kill for it; plus more facts and figures about one of California’s greatest resources

Summer seems incomplete without a day at the beach with your toes in the sand. We know you’re there to relax and not think about much, but here are a few facts about sand.

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Duncan’s Bay Residents Still Livid Despite OPM’s Defence Of Sand-Mining Approval, Jamaica

News, Sand Mining
Jul
19

Residents of Duncan’s Bay in Trelawny remain upset over the recent decision by Prime Minister Andrew Holness to grant an environmental permit for mining and quarrying beach sand in their community.

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Coastal Commission approves agreement to close last beach sand mining operation in mainland U.S.

News, Sand Mining
Jul
14

The California Coastal Commission on Thursday unanimously approved an agreement to end the mining of beach sand in Monterey County — the last operation of its type in the mainland United States.

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Controversial beachfront sand mining operation along Monterey Bay to close

News, Sand Mining
Jun
27

The last coastal sand mine in the United States, a facility on Monterey Bay that scientists say has caused significant erosion of beaches in the area, will close in three years under a settlement agreement announced Tuesday with California officials.

Comments Off on Controversial beachfront sand mining operation along Monterey Bay to close

Sand Mining

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  • Recent / Sand Mining

    A looming tragedy of the sand commons

    September 8th, 2017

    Because of the difficulty in regulating their consumption, common-pool resources are prone to tragedies of the commons as people may selfishly extract them without considering long-term consequences, eventually leading to overexploitation or degradation. Even when sand mining is regulated, it is often subject to rampant illegal extraction and trade.

    Read More

    Sand Mining: Growing Pains of Cross-Border Trade

    August 29th, 2017

    When powerful storms strike, like Typhoon Hato in southern China or Hurricane Harvey in Texas, the surging water scatters tons of sand – an essential ingredient required for the rebuilding soon to follow. Such storms add to growing global demand for sand with poor consequences for the economy and environment.

    Read More

    Why Sardinia’s tourists taking sand as souvenir face fine

    August 24th, 2017

    Famed for its pristine beaches, the Mediterranean island of Sardinia has hit back at holidaymakers who have been pinching its sand.

    Read More

    Kenya’s sand wars

    August 19th, 2017

    Communities are pitted against sand harvesters, powerful cartels and one another as demand for sand in Kenya grows.

    Read More

    Trouble in paradise: the Canary Island beach accused of illegally importing sand

    July 29th, 2017

    Investigation launched into allegations that sand in Gran Canaria resort was sourced from Africa’s last colony, in breach of international law.

    Read More

    Sand is so important, people kill for it; plus more facts and figures about one of California’s greatest resources

    July 22nd, 2017

    Summer seems incomplete without a day at the beach with your toes in the sand. We know you’re there to relax and not think about much, but here are a few facts about sand.

    Read More

    Duncan’s Bay Residents Still Livid Despite OPM’s Defence Of Sand-Mining Approval, Jamaica

    July 19th, 2017

    Residents of Duncan’s Bay in Trelawny remain upset over the recent decision by Prime Minister Andrew Holness to grant an environmental permit for mining and quarrying beach sand in their community.

    Read More

    Coastal Commission approves agreement to close last beach sand mining operation in mainland U.S.

    July 14th, 2017

    The California Coastal Commission on Thursday unanimously approved an agreement to end the mining of beach sand in Monterey County — the last operation of its type in the mainland United States.

    Read More

    Controversial beachfront sand mining operation along Monterey Bay to close

    June 27th, 2017

    The last coastal sand mine in the United States, a facility on Monterey Bay that scientists say has caused significant erosion of beaches in the area, will close in three years under a settlement agreement announced Tuesday with California officials.

    Read More

    Council committee wrestles with sand-mining bill, Hawaii

    June 21st, 2017

    A Maui County Council committee is considering ways to regulate sand extraction in the county in light of a recent Central Maui sand excavation and export case that came under fire from members of the community.

    Read More