Vanishing Sands: Losing Beaches to Mining

Duke Univ. Dec. 2022. 272p. ISBN 9781478018797. pap. $25.95. SCI
Coastal geologist Pilkey and his son Keith (Sea Level Rise), some geologist colleagues, and sustainable development/climate justice researcher Hannah L. Hayes have penned a detailed look at beach and river sand mining. Sand is used in making concrete, mined for minerals, for beach nourishment (adding sand to beaches), and land expansion. Much of this sand mining is illegal and leads to a loss for local economies, a decrease in natural storm protection, habitat destruction, government corruption, and a loss of local livelihoods, such as fishing. Sand exports are so valuable that “sand mafias” have beaten or killed environmental activists, journalists, and police officers trying to enforce local laws. The authors describe sand and its properties and explain how it is mined. They also give dozens of examples in countries around the world of how it is removed and sold by nearly everyone, from individuals to large corporations, while governments turn a blind eye. Appendixes of “Sand Mining Violent Events” and a “Sand Rights” document conclude the book.
VERDICT An informative, detailed, extensively documented scholarly examination of sand mining and its associated issues that will appeal to geologists, environmentalists, and those concerned about climate change.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing