The Unsustainable Harvest of Coastal Sands – Science

Mining is removing sand from coastal sites, such as this one in Colombia, faster than natural processes can replenish it (photo © Nelson Rangel-Buitrago)

Although coasts form a crucial part of the natural wealth of the planet, their conservation is increasingly jeopardized owing to the growing human footprint. With 50% of the world’s population living within 150 km of a coastline, increasing urbanization and population pressures are threatening these fragile ecosystems…

Is Earth in a New Time Period: The Plasticene? – Frontiers for Young Minds

Geological Time Spiral (courtesy of United States Geological Survey, Public domain, via Wikimedia).

Earth has a special calendar called the geologic time scale…We are currently in the Holocene Epoch, but some scientists believe we have entered a new time called the Anthropocene or the “Age of Humans” because of our impact on the planet. One of the biggest changes humans have made is inventing and using plastic..Because plastic is now found everywhere, some scientists, like us, think we have entered a new stage in Earth’s history called the Plasticene…

The global impact of sand mining on beaches and dunes – Ocean & Coastal Management

USACE project Sand Replenishment 5.5 mile strech of Anna Maria Island, FL (by Carol VanHook CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr).

Beaches and coastal dunes have always supplied sand for a wide range of uses, and initially the extracted volumes were limited to buckets, wheelbarrows, or small pickup truck loads. However, starting in the late twentieth century, and thanks to urban development, especially for coastal tourism, coastal and river sand has been extracted at an accelerated pace, and on a much grander scale…

Vanishing Sands: How Sand Mining is Stripping Away Earth’s Beaches by Orrin Pilkey, et al – Duke | Nicholas School of the Environment

Cover art: Forest City, Johor, Malaysia, 2017. (Photograph by Sim Chi Yin, courtesy of Duke University Press)

A new book from Duke University Press, “Vanishing Sands: Losing Beaches to Mining,” casts light on the shadowy world of sand mining through case studies that illuminate its disastrous impacts and a concluding chapter that proposes common-sense solutions.

Because of the tradition of viewing beaches as public land, people have historically thought of beach sand as a free and limitless resource, Pilkey and his co-authors explain in their preface to “Vanishing Sands…”