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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Cronulla’s sand dunes survived Mad Max but now face a more insidious threat

australia-coastal-developpement

The once vast sand dunes in Sydney’s south have been farmed, trimmed down by sandmining, filmed and eroded by wind and rain. Now they face encroaching housing developments

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Beijing highway: $600m road just the start of China’s investments in Caribbean

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Stretching some 67 km north to south across Jamaica, the $600m four-lane nicknamed the “Beijing highway, is the single biggest investment by the Chinese in the Caribbean. This project is also prelude of the building of a $1.5bn deep water container port on islands off the south coast ,using dredging and land reclamation to accommodate mega ships coming through the expanded Panama Canal.

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Leatherback sea turtles choose nest sites carefully, study finds

leatherback-hatchlings-beach

After hatching and dispersing across the world’s oceans, the female leatherbacks return to their natal beaches to lay clutches of eggs in the sand. A new study offers fresh insights into their nesting choices. However, human encroachment on leatherback nesting beaches, in the form of beachfront construction and sand mining, is a major threat to the animals’ continuation as a species.

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Paradise Lost? Beach sand mining, Ngapali beach, Myanmar

myanmar-san-mining-1
News, Sand Mining
Dec
13

Twenty years ago Ngapali Beach, on the Bay of Bengal, was an unspoilt gem in the crown of Myanmar’s natural treasures. Times have changed. Beach sand mining at Ngapali, has disturbed the natural balance.
A dossier and photo reportage by Oliver Soe Thet.

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Sand Mining in SF Bay Dealt Blow by State Appeals Court

Gary-Griggs-monterey-sand-mining-10
News, Sand Mining
Nov
21

A California appeals court has ruled that sand in the San Francisco Bay must be considered a public trust resource, potentially challenging the practice of mining for sand in the Bay that’s in turn used in construction projects.

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Could We Run Out of Sand for Eroded Beaches?

sand-dredging-miami

With king tides, persistent winds and large waves from Tropical Storm Erika and Hurricane Joaquin making erosion particularly bad this year, the demand for sand is high – but is it possible we could run out?

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China Visit Seals Deal On ‘China Eden’ Project

eden-project

Sir Tim Smit has signed a contract to build an Eden Project on the east coast of China. He said it would be an “iconic building” to demonstrate the region’s commitment to sustainability. The new Eden will be located on a barren piece of reclaimed land that sits on a convergence of two rivers near Qingdao.

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The Sand Thieves of Larache, Northern Morocco

sand-mined-shores

Trois jours par semaine, les travailleurs de Larache, au Maroc, amènent des bulldo-zers sur la plage et prennent autant de sable qu’ils le peuvent. Quoique leurs patrons disposent de permis, ils viennent aussi en toute illégalité les week-ends, se servant d’ânes et de pelles pour ravager un peu plus le paysage.

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Sand Dredging: Let’s Save Brittany’s Shores, France

dredger

Brittany’s shores are in peril. A large-scale offshore sand dredging project, where hundreds of m3 of sand are going to be extracted, is about to become a devastating reality. Be the Change Petition: “Sand Dredging: Let’s Save Brittany’s Shores.”

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Sand Mining

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  • Recent / Sand Mining

    Leatherback sea turtles choose nest sites carefully, study finds

    leatherback-hatchlings-beach

    December 14th, 2015

    After hatching and dispersing across the world’s oceans, the female leatherbacks return to their natal beaches to lay clutches of eggs in the sand. A new study offers fresh insights into their nesting choices. However, human encroachment on leatherback nesting beaches, in the form of beachfront construction and sand mining, is a major threat to the animals’ continuation as a species.

    Read More

    Paradise Lost? Beach sand mining, Ngapali beach, Myanmar

    myanmar-san-mining-1

    December 13th, 2015

    Twenty years ago Ngapali Beach, on the Bay of Bengal, was an unspoilt gem in the crown of Myanmar’s natural treasures. Times have changed. Beach sand mining at Ngapali, has disturbed the natural balance.
    A dossier and photo reportage by Oliver Soe Thet.

    Read More

    Sand Mining in SF Bay Dealt Blow by State Appeals Court

    Gary-Griggs-monterey-sand-mining-10

    November 21st, 2015

    A California appeals court has ruled that sand in the San Francisco Bay must be considered a public trust resource, potentially challenging the practice of mining for sand in the Bay that’s in turn used in construction projects.

    Read More

    Could We Run Out of Sand for Eroded Beaches?

    sand-dredging-miami

    October 30th, 2015

    With king tides, persistent winds and large waves from Tropical Storm Erika and Hurricane Joaquin making erosion particularly bad this year, the demand for sand is high – but is it possible we could run out?

    Read More

    China Visit Seals Deal On ‘China Eden’ Project

    eden-project

    October 22nd, 2015

    Sir Tim Smit has signed a contract to build an Eden Project on the east coast of China. He said it would be an “iconic building” to demonstrate the region’s commitment to sustainability. The new Eden will be located on a barren piece of reclaimed land that sits on a convergence of two rivers near Qingdao.

    Read More

    The Sand Thieves of Larache, Northern Morocco

    sand-mined-shores

    October 14th, 2015

    Trois jours par semaine, les travailleurs de Larache, au Maroc, amènent des bulldo-zers sur la plage et prennent autant de sable qu’ils le peuvent. Quoique leurs patrons disposent de permis, ils viennent aussi en toute illégalité les week-ends, se servant d’ânes et de pelles pour ravager un peu plus le paysage.

    Read More

    Sand Dredging: Let’s Save Brittany’s Shores, France

    dredger

    October 11th, 2015

    Brittany’s shores are in peril. A large-scale offshore sand dredging project, where hundreds of m3 of sand are going to be extracted, is about to become a devastating reality. Be the Change Petition: “Sand Dredging: Let’s Save Brittany’s Shores.”

    Read More

    Decree Granting Sand Mining Concession Has Been Signed – Environmentalist Group Will Appeal

    peuple-des-dunes-erdeven

    September 19th, 2015

    The decree granting concession of shell sand in Bay of Lannion, Brittany, to CAN Industry, was signed Monday and published this Wednesday. The environmental group “Peuple Des Dunes” intends to appeal and file an action before the administrative court.

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    NOAA Fisheries Input on Sand Mining Helps Protect Key Fish Habitat

    sand-dredger

    September 8th, 2015

    Sand, not gold, has since become one of the world’s most precious and finite resources originating in California’s mountains. NOAA Fisheries is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and industry to understand the effect that sand mining could have on important fish habitat.

    Read More

    Built on Sand: Singapore and the New State of Risk

    sand-denis-delestrac

    September 7th, 2015

    The island’s expansion has been a colossal undertaking. It is not merely a matter of coastal reclamation: Singapore is growing vertically as well as horizontally. This means that the nation’s market needs fine river sand—used for beaches and concrete—as well as coarse sea sand to create new ground.

    Read More