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Sand is the lifeblood of beaches. Taking the sand from a beach is a sure way to destroy it. Beach sand is often seen as a free and easily exploited resource, so, in many parts of the world, beach sand is big business. Ironically, sand is mined from some beaches simply to replenish eroded beaches elsewhere. In northern Europe, farmers traditionally improved the heavy soils by adding beach sand, and on small islands throughout the world, beach sand is the only source of aggregate. Where we once saw manual removal of small amounts of sand, however, we are now seeing beach sand mining on an industrial scale.Singapore is extending its land area by dumping material in the sea. The demand for material has spawned an illegal industry of beach sand mining in surrounding countries, whereby unscrupulous operators illegally mine their beaches and transporting the sand to Singapore under cover of darkness. Beach sand is perceived like a cash crop sold for construction of buildings close to the beach from which the sand came.
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