CEMEX extracts about 200,000 yds3 of sand from this back beach pond every year. Captions and Photograph courtesy of: © Gary Griggs
The disappearance of the beach reflects an alarming reality: Southern Monterey Bay, Marina in particular, has the highest coastal erosion rate in the state.
For more than 20 years, scientists have speculated about the sand mine’s contribution to that erosion rate, and a 2008 study concluded it was the primary cause.
Now a recent paper brings more data. Any questions about what is causing local beaches to erode have been answered.
It is because of the Cemex mine in Marina, the only remaining coastal sand mine in the entire United States.
Which leads to new questions…
Monterey Bay, California: Beach Sand Mining from a National Marine Sanctuary; By Gary Griggs (09-01-2014)
The 30-mile long, continuous sandy shoreline around Monterey Bay is the most visited stretch of shoreline on the central coast. Yet, it holds the dubious distinction of being the only active beach sand mining operation along the entire United States shoreline. To make matters even worse, it all takes place along the shoreline of a protected National Marine Sanctuary. Something is seriously wrong with this picture…
Beach Sand Mining in Monterey Bay Causes a Dustup, WSJ (04-08-2014)
California’s Monterey Bay boasts one of the nation’s most protected coastlines, situated within a federal sanctuary that imposes bans on everything from Jet Skis to offshore drilling. Yet most days, hundreds of tons of sand are harvested from one of its most picturesque beaches, in a mining operation now coming under increased state and local scrutiny…