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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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.

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Council committee wrestles with sand-mining bill, Hawaii

News, Sand Mining
Jun
21

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.

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As day of reckoning closes in on Cemex, the city of Marina prepares to attack.

In the fight to shut down the Cemex sand mine in Marina, the lines in the sand have been drawn. Diplomacy, up until now, has not borne fruit, and a looming battle is starting to take shape. On June 6, City Council voted 5-0 to authorize City Attorney Rob Wellington to explore legal options that would argue that the Cemex mine is a “public nuisance” due to its erosion impacts

Comments Off on As day of reckoning closes in on Cemex, the city of Marina prepares to attack.

An Evaluation of the Ongoing Impacts of Sand Mining at the CEMEX Lapis Sand Plant in Marina, California on the Southern Monterey Bay Shoreline; By Robert S. Young, PhD

The City of Marina commissioned this report to assist in its management and decision‐making for coastal property and resources within the City’s jurisdiction. This report provides a review and synthesis of available documentary information and scientific literature addressing the impact of current sand mining activities within southern Monterey Bay.

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The world is running out of sand

It’s one of our most widely used natural resources, but it’s scarcer than you think…

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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.


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  • Recent / Sand Mining

    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

    As day of reckoning closes in on Cemex, the city of Marina prepares to attack.

    June 7th, 2017

    In the fight to shut down the Cemex sand mine in Marina, the lines in the sand have been drawn. Diplomacy, up until now, has not borne fruit, and a looming battle is starting to take shape. On June 6, City Council voted 5-0 to authorize City Attorney Rob Wellington to explore legal options that would argue that the Cemex mine is a “public nuisance” due to its erosion impacts

    Read More

    An Evaluation of the Ongoing Impacts of Sand Mining at the CEMEX Lapis Sand Plant in Marina, California on the Southern Monterey Bay Shoreline; By Robert S. Young, PhD

    May 29th, 2017

    The City of Marina commissioned this report to assist in its management and decision‐making for coastal property and resources within the City’s jurisdiction. This report provides a review and synthesis of available documentary information and scientific literature addressing the impact of current sand mining activities within southern Monterey Bay.

    Read More

    The world is running out of sand

    May 23rd, 2017

    It’s one of our most widely used natural resources, but it’s scarcer than you think…

    Read More

    Dubai set to build $1.7b man-made islands Marsa Al Arab by 2020

    dubai-artificial-islands1

    May 18th, 2017

    Dubai is growing again, and again it’s building into the sea.

    Read More