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The World’s Disappearing Sand


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#1 offshorebirder

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Posted 23 June 2016 - 05:52 PM

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

 

http://www.nytimes.c...aring-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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#2 armchair bushman

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Posted 24 June 2016 - 05:42 AM

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).



#3 offshorebirder

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Posted 24 June 2016 - 04:33 PM

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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#4 armchair bushman

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Posted 04 July 2016 - 06:04 AM

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


Edited by armchair bushman, 04 July 2016 - 06:05 AM.

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#5 offshorebirder

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 06:57 PM

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

 

http://www.csmonitor...ore-s-expansion


Edited by offshorebirder, 24 October 2016 - 06:58 PM.

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