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Is Beach Sand a Valuable Commodity?

Thieves seem to be everywhere these days. They swipe copper wiring from buildings, catalytic converters from underneath vehicles, and even avocados from orchards. But you wouldn’t necessarily think that beach sand would be valuable enough to steal. And yet, in 2008, someone with heavy equipment gathered up 1,300 feet (400 m) of white sand from a beach in Coral Springs, Jamaica. Police estimated that the theft amounted to 500 truckloads of pristine beach. The crime was never solved, but most believe that it was related to Jamaica's building boom, as there is a large demand for construction material. Another theory points to beach-related competition among the island’s hotels and resorts.

Psst! Wanna buy some sand?

  • Beautiful beaches are valuable commodities for resorts hoping to lure tourists. The sand heist halted construction of a $108-million USD resort complex in Coral Springs.

  • Elimination of sand beaches can also have an environmental impact by changing water salinization, which affects nearby mangroves, forests and orchards.

  • Greek authorities banned tourists from taking samples of the pink sand at Elafonisi in Crete, when color saturation levels dropped precipitously. Today, those pink beaches are a mere 10 percent of what they looked like 100 years ago.

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More Info: BBC

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