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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World’s Largest Sea Turtle Nesting Beach in Peril Orissa Due to Massive Erosion

Wildlife activists are concerned over gradual destruction of the traditional nesting grounds of Olive Ridley sea turtles at Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary on Orissa coast, following massive and illegal sand dredging at the Mahanadi river mouth.

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Sand For Sale: Environment Ravages

The “king Of Koh Kong” has defied an order endorsed by the Cambodia’s Prime Minster to halt his controversial and environmentally damaging sand dredging activities on the Tatai river in Koh Kong.

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Ghana’s Ongoing Battle Against Coastal erosion

According to estimates, the ocean claims 1.5 to 2 metres of the 539- kilometres Ghana coastline annually; with the most risky coastal areas, Ada Foah and the Eastern parts of Keta, recording 4 metres. Ghana’s Government decided on a costly and controversial project: the building of a 68 million euros, 30 kms “Ada Defense Sea Wall” to “salvage the people in the area from the ravages of the sea…”

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Cambodia: A Stop Order To Excessive Sand Dredging

News, Sand Mining

The “King of Koh Kong” has been ordered to stop his company’s massive sand dredging operation on the Tatai river amid concerns it is decimating the environment and ruining the tourist trade.

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Sand Dredging Operations Of “Unprecedented Scale,” Cambodia

cambodia koh-kong-coastal
News, Sand Mining

Sand dredgers have resumed operations of “unprecedented scale” in Koh Kong province’s salt-water estuaries since May, after a drop-off in dredging activities as a result of a 2009 sand-export ban.

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Ongoing Sand Mining Mafia, Konkan coast, India

News, Sand Mining

Sand mining had come to a near standstill last year after the Bombay High Court banned it, however Maharashtra’s creeks and the Konkan coast and beaches do remain prey to the sand mafia.

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Cuba: Sea levels to rise more than 30 in. by 2100

Cuban scientists warn that right now it is urgent to preserve mangroves, coral reefs, sea grass and sand beaches. Each of these ecosystems is a natural barrier to defend the coasts from the impact of climate change and sea level rise. Most of the 400 beaches of Cuba’s territory are affected by erosion with a receding coastline estimated at 1.2 meters per year.

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Coast Guards Take Action Against Illegal Sand Dredging

China’s construction boom has created a strong demand for sand, a key element in making concrete, fueling an explosion in illegal sea sand dredging.

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Concerns Over Sand Mining and Beaches Alterations, Chennai Coast, India

News, Sand Mining

With the new Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) 2011 notification, exploiting the coastline of Chennai, East of India, becomes that much more difficult. But loop holes are found everywhere, and concerns mount over sand mining and other alterations of the beaches’ natural state.

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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

    Tar sands oil extraction spreading rapidly, report warns.

    May 30th, 2010

    BP is developing tar sands in Alberta and also in Venezuela, the world’s second largest reserves after Canada, where it is active on the Petromonagas block and is also considering the Ayacucho 2 block.

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    Sand mining company proposes expanding Stradbroke national parks

    May 21st, 2010

    The sand mining company Unimin is calling for large areas of Stradbroke Island off Brisbane to be declared national park as soon as possible.

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    Ancestors’ Bones Halt Sand Mining

    May 20th, 2010

    Greg McDonald says remains of his Ngati Wai ancestors from centuries ago lie on the Pakiri Beach seabed.

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    Singapore sand imports threaten Cambodian ecosystem

    May 11th, 2010

    Singapore, which prides itself on being one of the most environmentally friendly nations in Asia, is expanding its coastline with irresponsibly dredged sand from Cambodia, according to a report from an environmental NGO.

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    Mining ‘eating’ dunes at Northland refuge

    May 7th, 2010

    Erosion of dunes at a remote Northland beach and wildlife refuge is being blamed on dredges mining the near shore.

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    Singapore accused of launching Sand Wars

    April 26th, 2010

    By paying smugglers to steal under the cover of night, entire picturesque sandy beaches of Indonesia and Malaysia, carving out millions of tons of coastline.

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    Last-Chance Beaches: Morocco

    April 25th, 2010

    You’d think that a desert country like Morocco would have enough sand for everyone. But at least a few parties feel the need to steal sand from Morocco’s Atlantic beaches, by literally bulldozing dunes, trucking the sand away to make cement, and leaving behind ugly lunar landscapes.

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    Take Action to End Global Beach Sand Mining!

    SOS Save Our Sand

    April 24th, 2010

    We urge you to become part of the movement by signing the petition to end beach sand mining.

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    The black marketeers stealing Indonesia’s islands by the boat-load

    March 23rd, 2010

    For the people of Sebesi Island, who spend their lives next to the world’s biggest natural time bomb, it seemed to be an offer that they could not refuse.

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    The Double Disaster

    The Double Disaster

    November 29th, 2009

    The Impacts of illicit River Sand Mining & Climate Change in Sri Lanka

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