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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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

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

dubai-artificial-islands1
News, Sand Mining
May
18

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

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Concrete, or Beaches? World’s Sand Running Out As Global Construction Booms

A crucial component of concrete, sand is vital to the global construction industry.

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Cemex sand mine accused of damaging Monterey Bay Coast

Scientists and environmentalists are accusing Cemex, the world’s second largest building materials company, of doing serious harm to the Monterey Bay beach by removing massive amounts of sand. The company claims its sand mining business is legal, but the beach is shrinking, and the California Coastal Commission is threatening to shut down the operation.

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County warns businesses to stop mining sand, Maui

While sand mining is not illegal here, some community members are concerned about the resource being depleted and shipped off-island and archaeological damage. Mayor Alan Arakawa is among the concerned, saying the sand is needed for Maui projects and replenishing beaches.

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The Economist explains: Why there is a shortage of sand

It may be plentiful, but so is the demand for it.

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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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Sign the petition to end global sand mining.


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  • Recent / Sand Mining

    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

    Concrete, or Beaches? World’s Sand Running Out As Global Construction Booms

    May 12th, 2017

    A crucial component of concrete, sand is vital to the global construction industry.

    Read More

    Cemex sand mine accused of damaging Monterey Bay Coast

    May 9th, 2017

    Scientists and environmentalists are accusing Cemex, the world’s second largest building materials company, of doing serious harm to the Monterey Bay beach by removing massive amounts of sand. The company claims its sand mining business is legal, but the beach is shrinking, and the California Coastal Commission is threatening to shut down the operation.

    Read More

    County warns businesses to stop mining sand, Maui

    May 3rd, 2017

    While sand mining is not illegal here, some community members are concerned about the resource being depleted and shipped off-island and archaeological damage. Mayor Alan Arakawa is among the concerned, saying the sand is needed for Maui projects and replenishing beaches.

    Read More

    The Economist explains: Why there is a shortage of sand

    April 26th, 2017

    It may be plentiful, but so is the demand for it.

    Read More

    How Singapore is creating more land for itself

    April 25th, 2017

    The island off the southern tip of Malaysia reveals the future of building in an epoch of dwindling territory.

    Read More

    Gambia: Tourism and the Environment – Tribute to the ‘Unsung Heroes’ Context

    April 11th, 2017

    Gambia’s tourism industry was bedeviled with a range of menaces including – indiscriminate dumping and littering of our beaches, as well as debasing of our beaches through sand mining and related environmental malpractices to other areas frequented by our coveted guests and tourists. The need to tackle the environmental and sanitary challenges of tourism, head on, therefore became imperative.

    Read More

    Can permaculture save Togo’s precious coastline from the ravages of sand mining? A Video

    April 11th, 2017

    African countries are raising alarm because of their disappearing coastlines. Beaches erode mainly because of illegal sand mining. A Swiss foundation wants to help Togo restore its coastline.

    Read More

    Madras High Court: the saga of illegal beach sand mining drags on

    April 11th, 2017

    As the saga of illegal beach sand mining drags on in the Madras high court, an interim order has finally called into question the role, or the lack thereof, played by the Centre over two decades in monitoring, curbing and enforcing laws preventing the illegal mining of beach sands from Tamil Nadu’s shores.

    Read More