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    New Englanders Struggle to Find Sand for Coastline

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    Sea levels are on the rise, and many coastal New Englanders are finding themselves woefully short on the sand needed to contain them.

    Sea levels are on the rise, and many coastal New Englanders are finding themselves woefully short on the sand needed to contain them.

    The typical fix has been to buy the sand needed to rebuild the parts of the coastline that have succumbed to erosion and storm damage, but that route is becoming increasingly controversial for a number of reasons.

    One is the sheer cost of doing it as reconstructing beaches isn’t cheap.

    Whether or not the state should help individual landowners cover the costs of some measures, both preventative and restorative, is also increasingly becoming a point of contention.

    That issue is becoming more and more exacerbated as the rules governing resources make the sand harder to get in general, and impossible for some with individual needs.

    Massachusetts for example, restricts offshore sand mining with few exceptions but is re-examining this policy due to increasing needs. Individual groups have entered the fight with demands that some of the most lush mining grounds remain off limits for a variety of reasons ranging from ecology to industry.

    Trucking sand from inland locations can cost up to four times more than sourcing it closer to where it’s needed.

    And needed it is, as each winter tons of sand are lost to storms.