Disappearing beaches - The trouble with sand

  • Published 10 months ago
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Around the world, beaches are under threat. Severe storms and sea levels are rising. Huge quantities of sand are being washed away into the ocean.
Even entire islands are in existential danger. In Germany, the island of Sylt is battling against disappearance. Its beaches, like those of other North Sea islands, have been under assault for decades. Authorities are trying to halt the loss of kilometers of sandy beaches with construction measures and beach nourishment.
Big sand dredging ships play an important role in this process. They remove enormous quantities from the seabed and pump it back onto eroding shores.
Replenishing shorelines in this manner costs several million euros a year. But the financial expense is not the only problem - the ecological price of these significant interventions into the fragile maritime ecosystem is far from clear.
Currently, people are still putting coastal protection before environmental protection. But there are debates about whether this strategy can be continued in future. After all, sand is the second most important commodity in our modern society after water.

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