The greatest unseen resource that is ever present in our lives is sand. Every year, we use over 40 billion tons of sand, most of which is processed for construction, as sand is the key ingredient for materials such as concrete or asphalt. There are several methods for acquiring this resource, the key one being dredging from oceans and beaches. The ocean provides a seemingly endless supply of sand, and given how easy it is to acquire it, no wonder we make use. The sand mining industry is a global 70 billion dollar investment. Major world powers such as the United States, China, and Australia all have significant sand mining operations. These states have, however limited, laws in place that help prevent the overmining of sand. It is in the smaller,…show more content… In an effort to diversify their economy and shake the associations with blood diamonds, a few beaches were selected by companies needing sand for the production of asphalt and concrete. These Senegalese and Chinese construction companies were provided with contracts and sand mining operations began. In the beginning it was a highly profitable business that helped provide jobs and income for the small communities located on these beaches. Unfortunately, non-contracted companies realized the potential and began mining without any regulation. While paying government officials off to ignore the illegal nature of this practice, within a year communities were destroyed by the excessiveness by which they stole sand.
The impacts of overmining are vast. In Sierra Leone, the reduction of beaches caused trees to collapse, mangroves to disappear, coastal line to shrink--causing a risk of flooding in coastal towns. And this is in a relatively large uniform state. In Indonesia, a nation that consists of majority islands, an estimated two dozen islands have disappeared due to sand mining since 2005. Over 2,000 more small island are at risk of disappearing soon unless the activity is