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offshorebirder

The World’s Disappearing Sand

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I am glad to see the harmful environmental effects of sand mining getting more attention:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/23/opinion/the-worlds-disappearing-sand.html

 

Here on the east coast of the USA, constant dredging of offshore sand to replenish beaches is harmful to the benthic communities just offshore.

 

One of many effects: falling populations of clams and other bivalves that sea ducks need for winter food. Repeated dredging (to forestall beach erosion) keeps "rebooting" invertebrate populations and with smaller and smaller windows between renourishment projects, the populations have less and less time to recover.

 

The dredging process also breaks up shells and countless tiny jagged shell pieces get mixed into the slurry that is pumped up onto the beach. This new sand mixture makes for a less hospitable beach for invertebrates that shorebirds depend upon.

 

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You dredge offshore sand just to put it on the shore!?? Weird.

In Kenya, we're struggling with offshore dredging to supply sand for our inflated-budget standard gauge railway (which is turning out to be one of the biggest natural disasters in Kenya from start to finish, on so many levels).

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You dredge offshore sand just to put it on the shore!?? Weird.

 

 

Hah. Seems so normal here, but as you say @@armchair bushman it is a strange practice.

 

But without constant beach renourishment from dredged sand, many U.S. beaches on the Atlantic coast would either disappear or start to march inland at a rapid pace. And we can't have that scenario threatening people's beachfront mansions now can we?

 

For untold millennia, barrier islands on the Gulf coast and Atlantic coast moved inland and back out to sea when sea levels rose and fell. Now humans' raging hubris tries to keep these epitomes of dynamic geology from moving or changing configuration at all. It costs tens if not hundreds of millions annually and will ultimately prove futile.

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Posted (edited)

We really are a species with bizarrely low levels of intelligence.

Edited by armchair bushman
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Posted (edited)

Here is another article on the environmental degradation caused by sand mining / dredging in Cambodia:

 

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2016/1021/Cambodia-s-villagers-lose-ground-literally-to-Singapore-s-expansion

Edited by offshorebirder

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~ @offshorebirder

 

The ongoing sand dredging throughout coastal China and on Chinese waterways has had a striking effect.

 

The consequences of such dredging are immediate and devastating, as long-established water flow patterns are disrupted.

 

As there's no environmental review of sand dredging here, would-be sand entrepreneurs go about their business unchecked.

 

I wasn't aware that the eastern United States was also experiencing this.

 

Thank you for posting these articles.

 

Tom K.

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On 14/07/2017 at 4:43 AM, offshorebirder said:

Here is a bit of good news for a change - Cambodia just banned exporting its mined sand:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/cambodia-bans-overseas-exports-coastal-sand-091900810.html

 

so Singapore has to look for other places to destroy their natural environment to fuel its land expansion. 

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Quite right @Kitsafari.   And like the UAE and its artificial sand island developments, Singapore's land expansion also destroys its own marine habitats.

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