All posts by Coastal Care

Magnitude 7.7 earthquake strikes off the coast of Jamaica


Earthquake, M 7.7 – 125km NNW of Lucea, Jamaica. Image source: USGS

Excerpts;

A magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck Tuesday about 80 miles from Jamaica, striking in the Caribbean Sea between Jamaica and eastern Cuba, shaking a vast area from Mexico to Florida and beyond…

Based on all available data, there is no significant tsunami threat from this earthquake. This appears to have been a “strike-slip earthquake,” in which tectonic plates slide against each other. This limits the threat of a devastating tsunami, which are more associated with “thrust earthquakes,” where a portion of the earth is thrust upward and causes the water to push up and outward, creating the tsunami…

Read Full Article, CNN (01-28-2020)

Mag 7.7 quake hits between Cuba and Jamaica; ABC News (01-28-2020)
A powerful magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck in the Caribbean Sea between Jamaica and eastern Cuba on Tuesday, shaking a vast area from Mexico to Florida and beyond…

For now, river deltas gain land worldwide

Nile Delta Desert Islands
Nile Delta Desert Islands, batik on silk by © Mary Edna Fraser
52” x 36”, 1999

Excerpts;

Researchers from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), and colleagues found that delta areas worldwide have actually gained land in the past 30 years, despite river damming. However, recent land gains are unlikely to last throughout the 21st century due to expected, accelerated sea level rise. The researchers published their findings in the journal Nature.

River deltas rank among the most economically and ecologically valuable environments on Earth. People living on deltas are increasingly vulnerable to sea-level rise and coastal hazards such as major storms, extremely high tides, and tsunamis. Many deltas experience a decline in sediment supply due to upstream damming, making them even more vulnerable. However, the new study found that long-term, large-scale, upstream deforestation has resulted in soil erosion that increased the amount of sediment transported to many deltas…

Read Full Article, WHOI (01-23-2020)

World Consumes 100 Billion Tons of Materials Every Year, Report Finds


Illegal beach dunes sand mining, Morocco. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care.
Sand is the second most consumed natural resource, after water. The construction-building industry is by far the largest consumer of this finite resource…”— Denis Delestrac, “Sand Wars” Multi Award-Winning Filmmaker (©-2013).

Excerpts;

The amount of material consumed by humanity has passed 100 billion tons every year, a report has revealed, but the proportion being recycled is falling.

The materials used by the global economy have quadrupled since 1970, far faster than the population, which has doubled. In the last two years, consumption has jumped by more than 8 percent, but the reuse of resources has fallen from 9.1 percent to 8.6 percent…

Read Full Article, Yale E360 (01-24-2020)

Sand, Rarer Than One Thinks: A UNEP report (GEA-March 2014)
Despite the colossal quantities of sand and gravel being used, our increasing dependence on them and the significant impact that their extraction has on the environment, this issue has been mostly ignored by policy makers and remains largely unknown by the general public.
In March 2014 The United Nations released its first Report about Sand Mining: “Sand, Rarer Than One Thinks.”
“Sand Wars” film documentary by Denis Delestrac – first broadcasted on the european Arte Channel, May 28th, 2013 in its french version: “Le Sable: enquête sur une disparition”, where it became the highest rated documentary for 2013 – expressly inspired the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to publish this 2014-Global Environmental Alert.

Demand for sand: the largest mining industry no one talks about; Inhabitat (05-23-2019)
The world’s largest and perhaps most destructive mining industry is rarely discussed. Approximately 85 percent of all material mined from the earth is a simple and widely available resource: sand. Because it is so cheap and readily available, it is mined by everyone from guy with a shovel, to multi-million dollar machine operations.

Sand Wars, An Investigation Documentary, By Award-Winning Filmmaker Denis Delestrac (©-2013)
Is sand an infinite resource? Can the existing supply satisfy a gigantic demand fueled by construction booms? What are the consequences of intensive beach sand mining for the environment and the neighboring populations…? This investigative documentary takes us around the globe to unveil a new gold rush and a disturbing fact: the “Sand Wars” have begun…

Global Sand Mining: Learn More, Coastal Care

Sea level rise to cause major economic impact in the absence of further climate action

coastal-flooding
Aerial pictures of North Carolina’s coast, after superstorm Sandy devastated the area. Photo courtesy of: © Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) / WCU

Excerpts;

The Paris Agreement, adopted in 2015 by 175 parties, aims to limit global warming to well below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels. However, the period 2010-2020 was the planet’s hottest decade on record and the long-term trend is upward. Sea level rise is one of the most severe impacts of climate change, with rising waters amplifying coastal floods, threatening coastal communities, infrastructure, and agriculture…

Read Full Article, Science Daily (01-27-2020)

Miami Beach is dumping $16 million in fresh sand to push back against erosion


Onboard a sand dredger. Photo source: © Denis Delestrac.
“Beach nourishment projects like this have become commonplace along the US East and Gulf Coasts. These projects have immediate environmental impacts through burial of nearshore habitat and increased turbidity during project placement.The cumulative environmental impacts of doing this repeatedly on the same beach while conducting projects from Maine to Texas is unknown. But, we should be concerned. ” —Robert S. Young, PhD, Director, Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, Professor, Coastal Geology, Western Carolina University

Excerpts;

To push back against erosion caused by sea level rise and storms, four beachfront strips on Miami Beach are receiving a federally funded face lift. That means dumping fresh sand on the beach — $16 million…

Crews will dump 100 truckloads of sand every day. A total of 61,000 tons will be used…

Read Full Article, The Tampa Bay Times (01-15-2020)

Florida has spent more than $100 million pouring more sand onto beaches in the past three years. Is it time to wave a white flag?Sun Sentinel (06-08-2018)
In South Florida’s war against the tides, it may be time to recognize that discretion is the better part of valor. For the past 70 years, the state of Florida has spent more than $1.3 billion on packing sand onto eroding beaches…

Column: High-rises spell the end for Florida beaches; By Orrin H. Pilkey and J. Andrew G. Cooper; Tampa Bay (07-25-2017)
Floridians are becoming more attuned to sea level rise and more familiar with nuisance flooding related to the rising sea. However, we believe there is less recognition that by century’s end it is likely that most of Florida’s major beaches will be permanently gone…

Sand washes away as quickly as it can be dumped, Bathtub Beach, FL, TCPalm News (11-17-2017)
Between 2004 and 2014, some $13.6 million was spent on beach renourishment in Martin County, Florida. About $7.1 million came from local funds — your tax dollars. In the past two years, more than $6 million from a variety of sources has been spent to renourish and restore dunes at Bathtub Beach alone…

A swath of Miami Beach was washing away. The fix? Dump 285,000 tons of sand on it; Miami Herald (03-28-2017)
To widen a 3,000-foot stretch of Miami Beach’s shore that was washing away, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dumped 285,412 tons of sand on Mid-Beach, a $11.5 million project, funded with a combination of federal, state and county dollars….

Reinforce and Build: The vicious cycle driving development on Florida’s most fragile beaches; by John Platt, Hakai Magazine (12-20-2016)

Factbox: Sifting Through U.S. Beach Sand Numbers; Reuters (02-16-2018)

A look at the billions of dollars behind beach renourishment: Is it worth it?; WMBF (10-15-2018)

“A Never-Ending Commitment”: The High Cost of Preserving Vulnerable Beaches; ProPublica (09-27-2018)
The U.S. government pays to dump truckloads of sand onto eroding beaches, in a cycle that is said to harm ecosystems and disproportionately benefit the rich…

Beach rebuilding efforts won’t stave off climate change impacts forever; Guardian UK (09-20-2018)

Can Adding Sand to Beaches Save Them? How Stuff Works (04-13-2018)
The question is, can beach nourishment keep up with the ever-increasing forces of climate change or, like Sisyphus forever pushing his boulder up the hill, is adding sand to beaches an expensive, temporary fix to a long-term problem?..

Column: The future of Florida’s beaches and the public’s right to know; Op Ed. by Orrin Pilkey (12-07-2015)

Coastal geologist criticizes beach renourishment efforts; By Robert S. Young, PhD; The State (08-17-2016)
Rob Young, who heads the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Western Carolina University, said the government is subsidizing coastal development with renourishment money – and that’s costing taxpayers. Communities across the country have spent millions of dollars renourishing beaches. Those efforts encourage people to rebuild after every major hurricane…

Sand re-nourishment could be culprit for beach-related accidents; CBS Miami (11-13-2019)
A group of researchers found that after beach re-nourishment projects, there was a significant increase in the number of drownings and serious accidents along those same beaches…

Widening beaches might bring more hazards, researchers say; Sun Sentinel (04-04-2018)
Widening beaches might be linked to an increase in accidents, according to new data. The number of ocean rescues spikes after beaches are buffed up, according to the data published in the Journal of Ocean Research…

Sand, Rarer Than One Thinks: A UNEP report (GEA-March 2014)
Despite the colossal quantities of sand and gravel being used, our increasing dependence on them and the significant impact that their extraction has on the environment, this issue has been mostly ignored by policy makers and remains largely unknown by the general public.
In March 2014 The United Nations released its first Report about sand mining. “Sand Wars” film documentary by Denis Delestrac – first broadcasted on the european Arte Channel, May 28th, 2013, where it became the highest rated documentary for 2013 – expressly inspired the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to publish this 2014-Global Environmental Alert.

Rule change may threaten coastal areas

bull-island
Boneyard Beach, Bull Island, South Carolina. Photo source: ©© Hunter Desportes

Excerpts;

The U.S. Department of Interior Secretary’s reversal of a rule that limited where sand within federally restricted coastal zones may be placed is a change that environmentalists say is a step backward in protecting sensitive coastal resources…

Read Full Article, The Coastal Review Online (01-16-2020)

Conservative States Seek Billions to Brace for Disaster (Just don’t call it climate change.)


Photograph courtesy of: © William Neal, Orrin Pilkey & Norma Longo.

Excerpts;

The Trump administration is about to distribute billions of dollars to coastal states mainly in the South to help steel them against natural disasters worsened by climate change…

Read Full Article, The New York Times (01-20-2020)

Republican-led States Want Disaster Aid Without Having to Address Climate Change, The New York Mag (01-20-2020)
Southern states battered by natural disasters are putting in for the HUD money, but leaving out phrases related to climate change in order to stay on the Trump administration’s good side…

Trump to planet: Drop dead, CNN (06-01-2017)
“America First” is becoming increasingly America alone. Somehow, Donald Trump has managed, with a single, desperate and ill-conceived stroke, to sever the United States from the rest of the world…

Water world: rising tides close in on Trump, the climate change denier; Guardian UK (07-06-2016)

‘Kids are taking the streets’: climate activists plan avalanche of events as 2020 election looms, Guardian UK (01-25-2020)

Lawsuit could put U.S. government’s role in climate change on trial; CBS News (03-02-2019)
A lawsuit filed on behalf of 21 kids alleges the U.S. government knowingly failed to protect them from climate change. If the plaintiffs win, it could mean massive changes for the use of fossil fuels…

‘Kids are taking the streets’: climate activists plan avalanche of events as 2020 election looms


Photograph: © Coastal Care

Excerpts;

Organizers in the youth climate movement plan an avalanche of activities beginning next week, determined to make the future of the climate the major issue of the 2020 election…

Read Full Article, Guardian UK (01-25-2020)

Poll: Millennials care about climate change; Axios (02-26-2018)
The nonprofit Alliance for Market Solutions released new polling on millennial attitudes about the reality of human-induced climate change and efforts to combat it. Millennials are broadly convinced human-induced climate change is real and deserves action…

Lawsuit could put U.S. government’s role in climate change on trial; CBS News (03-02-2019)
A lawsuit filed on behalf of 21 kids alleges the U.S. government knowingly failed to protect them from climate change. If the plaintiffs win, it could mean massive changes for the use of fossil fuels…

Trump to planet: Drop dead, CNN (06-01-2017)
“America First” is becoming increasingly America alone. Somehow, Donald Trump has managed, with a single, desperate and ill-conceived stroke, to sever the United States from the rest of the world…