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Sand Mining

Take A Stand, #SaveOurSand from illegal sand mining in Marina, Calfornia

CEMEX Lapis Lustre Sand mine in Marina, Credit: unkown

⚠️ Protect The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary From Losing ≈ 700 Million Pounds of Illegally Mined Sand Annually.

NEXT EVENT: RALLY AT THE STATE LANDS COMMISSION, APRIL 20th

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THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT SAND MINING IN THE MONTEREY BAY

The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) is home to the last active coastal sand mining operation in the entire United States. It’s called the Lapis Lustre Sand Mine. The six-decade-old plant is located on the beach in Marina, California and is currently operated by CEMEX, an international building material powerhouse. CEMEX dredges sand from a large man-made pond on the beach, which is replenished every time waves push sand into the pond. The capture of this sand is at the heart of contention – It’s sand that would otherwise work its way down the coast into the Southern Monterey Bay, restoring beaches along the way.

Sand is a precious resource, vital to the integrity of our coastline. The Southern Monterey Bay already has the highest rate of erosion along the entire 840 mile coast of California. Adding the Lapis Lustre Sand Mine into the mix exacerbates mass-scale erosion. Scientific studies from multiple sources have listed the mine as the single largest cause of erosion impacting the Southern Monterey Bay.

The mine is responsible for the loss of 8-14 acres of beachfront land annually.

To date, the Lapis Lustre Sand Mine has been reported to remove approximately 200,000 – 350,000 cubic yards of sand every year from the dredge pond. That’s approximately 700 million pounds of illegal sand or equivalent to nearly 2,000 adult blue whales, making it the “largest anthropogenic impact on all the California coastline.” It’s costing taxpayers millions, endangering the sensitive habitats of federally threatened species and it’s all happening within the boundaries of the largest and most diverse National Marine Sanctuary in America.

Here’s The Nitty Gritty:

  • The Local Coastal Program (LCP) from the City of Marina turned their decision making powers over to California Coastal Commission in February of 2016.
  • The Sand mine was deemed illegal based on several Coastal Act violations cited in a “notice of intent” letter (a precursor to a cease-and-desist order) issued by the California Coastal Commission against the operation in March of 2016.
  • Since then, CEMEX has been granted multiple extensions to respond to the notice.
  • In a recent study conducted by Ed Thorton (professor emeritus at the Naval Postgraduate School and an internationally recognized expert on coastal processes), CEMEX has doubled if not tripled their mining yield without notifying or confirming with the Coastal Commission.
  • With new evidence that the dredge pond is now being contacted by the ocean below Mean High Tide/Water, jurisdiction over the sand mining operation could also involve the State Lands Commission as well as the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary because of the implied discharge caused by the exchange of water between the ocean and the pound via a “channel.” 
  • To date, no legal action has been taken.

Sand-Mining-before-and-afterVIEW THE EFFECTS OF SAND MINING

HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO

Join our community in support of the California Coastal Commission’s fight to end harmful erosion caused by the CEMEX Lapis Lustre Sand Mining Plant in Marina and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Your voice counts!

SEND A PROTEST LETTER

JOIN THE MAILING LIST

BECOME A MINE MONITOR

DONATE TO THE CAMPAIGN

Share news articles and this page using #SaveOurSand to help build awareness!

OUR NEXT EVENT

APRIL 20th (1-2pm): RALLY at State Lands Commission Meeting

Save Our Shores and Surfrider Monterey are teaming up to encourage the State Lands Commission to finally take a stance on the CEMEX Lapis Lustre Sand Mine in Marina, California. We are asking the Commission to support the California Coastal Commission’s fight to end harmful erosion caused by the illegal sand mine.

Your voice counts. Join us as we deliver hundreds, if not thousands, of public-signed petition letters with envelopes of Lapis Lustre Sand to the State Lands Commission. There will be a public comment period, we encourage everyone to speak!

– WHEN? April 20th from 1:00 – 2:30am
– WHERE? Double Tree, 200 Marine Boulevard, Berkeley, CA 94710
– EVENT ROOM? Belvedere Room

LEARN MORE

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So Far We Have:

  • Hosted documentary film screenings about sand mining to build public awareness
  • Held rallies at the Coastal Commission’s monthly meetings in support of closing the mine
  • Organized public demonstrations that encourage the CEMEX operation to cooperate and comply with the Coastal Commission
  • Partnered with community organizations like Surfrider Monterey to strengthen our collective impact
  • Assisted in producing a local documentary short film about the Lapis Lustre Sand Mine
  • Developed, in partnership with Surfrider Monterey, a Mine Monitor program, to monitor how often their dredge pound is breached below Mean High Tide/Water
  • Launched email and letter writing campaigns to the California Coastal Commission, State Lands Commission and local politicians

Kpix CBS reports on Save Our Shores Demonstration against Sand Mining

SAND MINING IN THE NEWS

Share these links using #SaveOurSand to help build awareness!

OUR COMMUNITY STANDS TOGETHER

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JOIN THE FIGHT!

SUPPORT THE CAUSE! Your donation will help us build coalitions, build community awareness and help advocate on behalf of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary to finally put an end to the sand mine and its embedded economic, environmental and social costs we all bear. You can donate HERE!