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.

Loading new locations

Surfing in / Sand Mining

Sand Wars, An Investigation Documentary, By Denis Delestrac

Is beach sand an infinite resource? Can the existing supply satisfy a gigantic demand fueled by construction booms? What are the consequences of intensive beach sand mining for the environment and the neighboring populations…? This investigation takes us around the globe to unveil a new gold rush and a disturbing fact: the “Sand Wars” have begun.


Preventing Erosion: Liberia Gets Tough on Illegal Sand Miners, Raid Beaches

News, Sand Mining

The Lands Mines and Energy Ministry Monday arrested several illegal sand miners s in several beach communities around Monrovia.

Comments Off on Preventing Erosion: Liberia Gets Tough on Illegal Sand Miners, Raid Beaches

Sand Mined From Pakiri Beach is Irreplaceable, New Zealand

Auckland City’s recreation committee chairman, says a $5 million beach rebuilding plan is gathering momentum. Where, however, does he hope to source the sand for the next eight Auckland beaches requiring replenishment?

Comments Off on Sand Mined From Pakiri Beach is Irreplaceable, New Zealand

Java Residents Protest Iron Mine

News, Sand Mining

The push to exploit natural resources is increasingly being matched by resistance from affected communities. After several years of escalating opposition by residents of Kulon Progo, a coastal farming community, to a project to mine iron deposits in the sand beneath their farms, conflicts and arrests concern affected communities.

Comments Off on Java Residents Protest Iron Mine

State Allows “Sand Mining” On Plum Island Beach, MA

News, Sand Mining

The commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection has given Plum Island homeowners permission to “mine” sand in an effort to replenish the dunes here.

1 comment

Nevis Government Says It Will No Longer Tolerate iIlegal Sand Mining

News, Sand Mining

Illegal sand miners across the island of Nevis have been warned to stop their illegal activities or face equipment seizure, arrest and prosecution.

Comments Off on Nevis Government Says It Will No Longer Tolerate iIlegal Sand Mining

How illegal sand mining in Sierra Leone is destroying the local beaches

It all started after the civil war in our country when most of the houses were burned, leaving people homeless. When people were finally ready to rebuild their homes, contracts were given to Chinese and Senegalese construction companies which led to a huge demand for sand. Now, sand mines have become a place where otherwise unemployed young people can find work…

Comments Off on How illegal sand mining in Sierra Leone is destroying the local beaches

Outrage Over Proposed Beach Sand Mining in France

Be the Change: Petition: Let’s save the sand and the surfing beaches of Anglet, Côte Basque, France.

Comments Off on Outrage Over Proposed Beach Sand Mining in France

Empty Promises Over Sand Mining, Barbuda

News, Sand Mining

As sand mining in Barbuda continues, concerns mount as to when this practice will ever finally stop. Sand mining is a direct cause of erosion, and impacts local wildlife, it causes problems for those who rely on fishing for their livelihoods, as well as the destruction of picturesque beaches.

Comments Off on Empty Promises Over Sand Mining, Barbuda

Sand Mining

You can make a difference and help save our beaches

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.

Join our campaign!

Sign the petition to end global sand mining.

  • Sand Mining Resources

  • Recent / Sand Mining

    Opposition to Beach Sand Mining Mounts, India

    September 2nd, 2012

    The Akhila Bharata Rythu Coolie Sangham and other organisations are vehemently opposing the sand mining activity in Vajrapukotturu — situated in the state of Andhra Pradesh on India’s southeastern coast — as they believe that it is detrimental to the interests of fishermen and other communities that depend on the sea for their livelihood.

    Read More

    Crackdown Planned On Illegal River Sand Mining, China

    August 16th, 2012

    To regulate the river sand market, the Guangdong provincial government has launched a large-scale crackdown on illicit river sand mining gangs.

    Read More

    Papua New Guinea’s Seabed To Be Mined For Gold And Copper

    August 8th, 2012

    A new frontier in mining is set to be opened up by the underwater extraction of resources from the seabed off the coast of Papua New Guinea, despite vehement objections from environmentalists and local activists.

    Read More

    Houses Built on Sand

    July 31st, 2012

    The excessive extraction of oceanic sand has caused the large-scale erosion of China’s shoreline and fisheries, while a lack of regulation has allowed unstable sand to be used in construction.

    Read More

    Residents outraged over sand mine plan, Australia

    July 23rd, 2012

    Cape Cleveland residents are furious a sand mine is a step closer to approval, despite being less than a kilometre away from an internationally protected wetland.

    Read More

    Illegal Sand Mining Complaints; Sindhdurga, India

    July 11th, 2012

    A resort in Sindhdurga has complained to the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) of illegal sand dredging in the Mochemaad creek that has destroyed the mangroves.

    Read More

    Official Rejects Sand-mining Resumption Proposal

    June 28th, 2012

    Barbuda Council Member Senator Arthur Nibbs says the indicated position of the Barbuda Council Chairman Calvin Punter that the sister-isle could soon be returning to sand mining in order to cushion heavy-hitting financial challenges, is as unsurprising as it going to be damaging.

    Read More

    Illegal Sand Mining Erodes Riverbanks, Vietnam

    June 10th, 2012

    Illegal sand mining in the Sai Gon River section between HCM City and Tay Ninh Province to the north-west has caused severe erosion of the river’s banks.

    Read More

    Turbidity Caused by Sand Dredging Heightens Toxicity Levels and Threaten Marine Life

    June 4th, 2012

    Monitoring stations at Gladstone Harbour recorded dangerously high turbidity levels due to sand dredging, at the same time as UNESCO was issuing dire warnings about the possible degradation of the Great Barrier Reef’s World Heritage status…

    Read More

    UN Warns Australia To Protect The Great Barrier Of Reef

    June 4th, 2012

    UNESCO has warned Australia not to allow development of new ports along the Great Barrier Reef, as the World Heritage-listed natural wonder is under threat from unprecedented coastal development. UNESCO has given Australia eight months to improve management of the Great Barrier Reef before it is listed as in danger.

    Read More