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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Sand Dredging Operations Of “Unprecedented Scale,” Cambodia

cambodia koh-kong-coastal
News, Sand Mining
Jun
29

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
Jun
20

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
Apr
19

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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A line in the Sand: Rebuilding Stradbroke Island After Sand Mining

News, Sand Mining
Apr
15

A line in the sand, that’s what the Queensland State Government is calling its decision to end sand mining on Stradbroke Island in eight years time. An ABC News video, depicting the dilemmas of a sustainable environment and a sustainable economy.

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Illegal Sand-Mining Threatens Sea Turtle Population, St Kitts-Nevis

The biodiversity of St Kitts and Nevis, including the sea turtle population, is under threat due to the increase in illegal sand-mining that is taking place.

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Goa’s Beaches Best Kept Secret: Illegal Sand Mining, India

News, Sand Mining
Mar
16

Sand mining is banned in Goa, but even when a NDTV team filmed openly, nobody blinked an eye.The Goa state’s entire 63-mile coastline is eroded, and some beaches have lost as much as 65 feet of landmass in recent years.

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No sand mining in fishing areas, India

News, Sand Mining
Feb
15

The State government cancelled all the sand mining leases in in coastal areas and would not be giving out new licences.

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Sand Mining

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  • Recent / Sand Mining

    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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    Preserving the health of the Rio de la Plata

    September 25th, 2009

    Research may lead to policies and regulations on side mining in Uruguay.

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    Documenting The Global Impacts Of Beach Sand Mining

    June 20th, 2009

    For centuries, beach sand has been mined for use as aggregate in concrete, for heavy minerals, and for construction fill.

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    Benin: Erosion-inducing coastal sand mining to be outlawed

    April 30th, 2009

    Faced with rising sea levels and coastal erosion caused in part by coastal sand mining, carting away of free beach sand for commercial uses, the national government has begun a campaign to save its coastal sand by digging up sand inland, instead. But communities near these newly-created sand collection spots are fighting back.

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    Mining Of Coastal Sand: A Critical Environmental And Economic Problem For Morocco

    Mining of Coastal Sand

    March 25th, 2009

    In Morocco, the extraction of beach and dune sand for use in the construction industry is destroying significant portions of the nation’s natural heritage.

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    Slideshow: The Global Impacts Of Beach Sand Mining

    February 25th, 2009

    Beach sand: so common, so complex, so perfect for sand castles and now a precious and vanishing resource.

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    Cambodia Under Sandmen’s Spell

    Phnom Penh

    February 16th, 2009

    Singapore is struggling to find the sand it needs for its gigantic land reclamation and construction projects.

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    Claims Mining is Destroying Famous Sand Dunes

    Claims mining is destroying famous sand dunes

    January 6th, 2009

    Kurnell Peninsula is in danger of becoming an island.

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    Liberia: Coastal Erosion Displaces Hundreds

    May 25th, 2008

    Coastal erosion has wiped out dozens of homes and left nearly 200 inhabitants homeless in Buchanan. Most of the erosion is caused by unregulated sand mining.

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