vanishing sands

LMN is delighted to announce our fifth Resisting Mining Book Club 2023 with guest speakers Orrin Pilkey, Keith Pilkey, Norma Longo and Hannah Smith, who will be speaking about their co-edited book Vanishing Sands: Losing Beaches to Mining (Duke University Press).

About the book:

In a time of accelerating sea level rise and increasingly intensifying storms, the world’s sandy beaches and dunes have never been more crucial to protecting coastal environments. Yet, in order to meet the demands of large-scale construction projects, sand mining is stripping beaches and dunes, destroying environments, and exploiting labour in the process.

The authors of Vanishing Sands track the devastating impact of legal and illegal sand mining over the past twenty years, ranging from Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean to South America and the eastern United States. They show how sand mining has reached crisis levels: beach, dune, and river ecosystems are in danger of being lost forever, while organized crime groups use deadly force to protect their illegal mining operations. Calling for immediate and widespread resistance to sand mining, the authors demonstrate that its cessation is paramount for saving not only beaches, dunes, and associated environments, but also lives and tourism economies everywhere.

The book’s editors will give an introductory lecture which will be followed by a Q&A. You do not need to have read the book to attend this meeting. All registered participants in the Book Club will be sent a PDF version or excerpts from the book via email.

About the authors:

Orrin Pilkey is a Professor Emeritus of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. He is also the founder and director emeritus of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, currently based at Western Carolina University. He has published more than 250 technical publications and authored, co-authored or edited 45 books, including The Rising Sea (Island Press, 2009), The World’s Beaches (University of California Press, 2011), Global Climate Change: A Primer (Duke University Press, 2011), and The Last Beach (Duke University Press, 2014).

Norma Longo is a geologist and long-time technical associate of Orrin Pilkey. She co-authored two books in the Living with the Shore series, focusing on the Gulf and Florida’s Atlantic beaches. As a writer, copyeditor, media researcher and photographer, she has visited beaches around the world and provides a global view.

Hannah Smith is a small-island developing state (SIDS) researcher in sustainable development and climate justice. She is a scholar of changing land rights, disaster capitalism, and risk management in Barbuda and Fiji.

Keith Pilkey is an administrative law judge in the social security system. He has co-operated in his father Orrin’s research activities for years and co-authored two books with him, Sea Level Rise and Retreat from the Rising Sea.

First chapter available for free here: