A multinational corporation is mining the Bay’s sand to sell it for profit, and it’s harming Ocean Beach and other Bay Area beaches and wetlands.
California is currently allowing Lehigh Hanson, Inc., to harvest 1.5 million cubic yards of Bay sand per year, far outpacing the amount that naturally replenishes the Bay floor. Sand mining reduces the supply of this important resource for areas like Ocean Beach, which is rapidly eroding.
Does the State have the right to sell the Bay’s sand at unsustainable levels? No, it doesn’t. Baykeeper’s lawyers went to court on October 16 to defend the public’s right to the sand and argue that gutting the Bay’s sand supply is a violation of the rights of Californians, who own the state’s natural resources.
“The sand that feeds the shore, like the shoreline itself, belongs to the public—and shouldn’t be sold off at levels that harm the Bay and local beaches,” says Erica Maharg, Baykeeper Managing Attorney, pictured here speaking to reporters outside the Court of Appeal.
Photo, above, of Ocean Beach by Robb Most.