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
To stake its claim in the strategic South China Sea, China is building airstrips, ports, and other facilities on disputed islands and reefs. Scientists say the activities are destroying key coral reef ecosystems and will heighten the risks of a fisheries collapse in the region.
Comments Off on The Rising Environmental Toll Of China’s Offshore Island Grab
Illegal extractions of sand from the River Titas in Sarail and Brahmanbaria Sadar Upazila are going on unabated intensifying threat of erosion in the nearby villages, local residents said.
Comments Off on Sand extraction from Titas triggers erosion
As rising sea levels threaten to engulf homes along the shores of Tamil Nadu state, locals fear the erosion of the coastline is due to the illegal sand trade.
Comments Off on Indians at risk of flooding powerless to stem the tide of illegal sand mining
India’s booming 157 billion dollar construction sector is expected to grow in the coming years. This means that the demand for sand and other minor minerals will increase as well, making it more difficult for the government to curb the methodical and unlawful abuse of riverbeds and coastal areas.
Comments Off on Illegal sand mining — the open secret of a multi-million crore scam, India
Amid rising seas, Belgium plans on building an artificial island off its coast, in a step towards climate change mitigation. 8 millions euros have been provided in funding of the project study.
Comments Off on Belgium is to build its first artificial island off the coast, as climate change mitigation
Beach replenishment is costly and exacts a heavy toll on the environment, depleting underwater ridges that are home to a broad variety of sea life. Skeptics questioned how the state and Army Corps of Engineers can commit to spending nearly $2 billion in beach replenishment through the mid 21st century.
Comments Off on Money and sand: will there be enough for New Jersey’s beaches?
The man-made, hugely popular summer Paris-Plages beaches along the Seine River, could be without sand next year, after complaints about the project’s disastrous ecological footprint and allegations that the company delivering the sand had “paid taxes” to Isis.
Comments Off on Why Paris beach festival could be sand-free in future
While conservationists champion the reduction of the world’s resources, one important material right at our toes has gone largely unnoticed. Coastal sands are being heavily mined, diminishing the world’s beaches.
Comments Off on Coastal Sand is Being Depleted, and It’s Taking Our Beaches With It
Beaches around the world are disappearing. No, the cause isn’t sea-level rise, at least not this time. It’s a little-known but enormous industry called sand mining, which every year sucks up billions of tons of sand from beaches, ocean floors, and rivers to make everything from concrete to microchips to toothpaste.
Comments Off on The Conservation Crisis No One Is Talking About