Erosion Stripping Seven Mile Beach – cayman compass

Seven Mile Beach, Cayman Islands (by Brook Ward CC BY-NC 2.0 DEED via Flickr).

The Compass recently observed the length of the beach using a drone camera to get the most up-to-date images of the impacts of the storm and ongoing erosion. It showed that some areas along the southern stretch have suffered a total loss of beach, and in at least one section, a near-5-feet-high ledge of sand has been created by the bombardment of the waves…

S A N D : Essential . . . Unregulated . . . and Dwindling

Sand Mining in Quarry Lake, Tahirpur, Bangladesh (by Hasin Hayder on unsplash).

“Sand is the foundation of human construction and a fundamental ingredient in concrete, asphalt, glass and other building materials. But sand, like other natural resources, is limited and its ungoverned extraction is driving erosion, flooding, the salination of aquifers and the collapse of coastal defences…”

“Recycling” Glass Back to Sand … For Beaches?

There have been several recent proposals and some projects actually underway to grind up glass bottles and use this ground glass to replenish beaches. Along most shorelines, other than in tropical environments, the dominant mineral making up the beach sand is quartz, which is silicon dioxide (SiO2), the same elemental composition as glass. While this may initially seem like a good solution for replenishing or nourishing disappearing or narrow beaches, this concept is not a sustainable or effective approach.

Initially derived from silica sand glass is a valuable resource that is already in a pure form that can most effectively be recycled or melted down to make more glass, rather than being put on the beach where it will be lost to the ocean over time as it is carried offshore or alongshore…