Sand Mining

Beach Sand mining on the beach in Morocco View Sand Mining Gallery

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.

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Sand mafias silence journalists in India

Up to 50 billion metric tons of sand and gravel are extracted every year worldwide. The inexhaustible need for sand from this rapidly-developing country is the breeding ground for illegal activities by what has come to be known as the “sand mafias”.

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UN Report: Sand Mafias are Destroying Moroccan Beaches

Sand mafias and illegal sand extraction are destroying beaches and threatening Morocco’s coastline, reminds the UN Environment Program.

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Demand for sand: the largest mining industry no one talks about

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.

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Against the grain: anger grows at spike in ‘sand graffiti’ by tourists in Japan

Local authorities in Japan have drawn a line in the sand amid anger over a rise in graffiti by foreign tourists disfiguring its pristine coastal dunes.

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Rising demand for sand calls for resource governance, UN

With the global demand for sand and gravel standing at 40 to 50 billion tonnes per year, a new report by UN Environment reveals that aggregate extraction in rivers has led to pollution, flooding, lowering of water aquifers and worsening drought occurrence.

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South Florida beach town getting emergency sand infusion

Sand-starved Dania Beach is getting an emergency infusion of that gritty stuff that gets washed away every year. Sand by the truckload is being brought in and deposited on the northern half of the beach near the pier.

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Coastal Conservation Plan Sparks Fight Over Sand

Beach communities that rely on dredging to replenish protective dunes object to expanded federal protections. Environmental advocates are pushing back with warnings about the possible ecological damage from beach replenishment projects that they call sand mining.

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Concrete: the most destructive material on Earth

After water, concrete is the most widely used substance on the planet. But its benefits mask enormous dangers to the planet, to human health – and to culture itself.

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Private companies can no longer mine beaches in India

News, Sand Mining
Feb
21

Private beach sand miners can no longer mine the coasts of India, as per a Gazette notification by the Union Ministry of Mines which has just been made public.

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Sand Mining

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  • Recent / Sand Mining

    Sand mafias silence journalists in India

    June 22nd, 2019

    Up to 50 billion metric tons of sand and gravel are extracted every year worldwide. The inexhaustible need for sand from this rapidly-developing country is the breeding ground for illegal activities by what has come to be known as the “sand mafias”.

    Read More

    UN Report: Sand Mafias are Destroying Moroccan Beaches

    May 31st, 2019

    Sand mafias and illegal sand extraction are destroying beaches and threatening Morocco’s coastline, reminds the UN Environment Program.

    Read More

    Demand for sand: the largest mining industry no one talks about

    May 26th, 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.

    Read More

    Against the grain: anger grows at spike in ‘sand graffiti’ by tourists in Japan

    May 20th, 2019

    Local authorities in Japan have drawn a line in the sand amid anger over a rise in graffiti by foreign tourists disfiguring its pristine coastal dunes.

    Read More

    Rising demand for sand calls for resource governance, UN

    May 8th, 2019

    With the global demand for sand and gravel standing at 40 to 50 billion tonnes per year, a new report by UN Environment reveals that aggregate extraction in rivers has led to pollution, flooding, lowering of water aquifers and worsening drought occurrence.

    Read More

    South Florida beach town getting emergency sand infusion

    April 24th, 2019

    Sand-starved Dania Beach is getting an emergency infusion of that gritty stuff that gets washed away every year. Sand by the truckload is being brought in and deposited on the northern half of the beach near the pier.

    Read More

    Coastal Conservation Plan Sparks Fight Over Sand

    March 26th, 2019

    Beach communities that rely on dredging to replenish protective dunes object to expanded federal protections. Environmental advocates are pushing back with warnings about the possible ecological damage from beach replenishment projects that they call sand mining.

    Read More

    Concrete: the most destructive material on Earth

    February 27th, 2019

    After water, concrete is the most widely used substance on the planet. But its benefits mask enormous dangers to the planet, to human health – and to culture itself.

    Read More

    Private companies can no longer mine beaches in India

    February 21st, 2019

    Private beach sand miners can no longer mine the coasts of India, as per a Gazette notification by the Union Ministry of Mines which has just been made public.

    Read More

    Sand mining in a dune system, Chile

    February 19th, 2019

    This is a normal situation here in this side of the world: when the legal go beyond the logic…

    Read More