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
Beach sand mining has been identified to be widespread along the Ghanaian coastline, where almost every pocket of sandy beach is mined by commercial contractors or by groups of individuals.
Scientists, engineers, and government regulators are increasingly turning their attention to solving one of the chief environmental problems associated with fracking for natural gas and oil – significant leaks of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
California’s Monterey Bay boasts one of the nation’s most protected coastlines, situated within a federal sanctuary that imposes bans on everything from Jet Skis to offshore drilling. Yet most days, hundreds of tons of sand are harvested from one of its most picturesque beaches, in a mining operation now coming under increased state and local scrutiny.
Sand Wars film documentary by Denis Delestrac, premieres in the United Kingdom 7.50pm, Wednesday 2 April Sky 534 & Virgin Media 243, on PBS America.
Taking advantage of government officials caught up with election work, the sand mafia has become active with transportation of sand from the Yamuna and Hindon river banks going on unimpeded…
Sand Wars movie: Premieres At Washington Environmental Film Festival, on March 20th. Discussion with filmmaker Denis Delestrac and geologist and “sandman” Michael Welland follows screenings.
Sand is the new gold. The worldwide excavation of sand on beaches and in rivers and oceans is signalling an ecological and human catastrophe. A worldwide sand rush is taking place. Article by Peter Dupont. Translation by Rafael Njotea.
Sand Wars: Environment Award 2014 Winner At The 11th Annual San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival
The San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival has announced the 10 awards winners of its 11th Annual Festival, and conferred the Environment Award to Denis Delestrac Documentary Film: Sand Wars.
The Department of Justice has recommended the filing of criminal charges against 23 Chinese nationals for alleged illegal extraction of about 150 metric tons of black sand along the coastline of Aparri in Cagayan.