USGS says dredge mining a cause for California beach erosion

By |  December 18, 2012

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that dredge mining of shoals near Angel and Alcatraz islands and throughout Suisun Bay is robbing the bay of sand that keeps San Francisco’s Ocean Beach from eroding, according to new research by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

USGS, in fact, says one particular 10-mile stretch is eroding faster than any other section of California. The erosion is partly due to sand mining, USGS says.

In October, the California State Lands Commission granted a dozen 10-year sand-dredging leases – nine in the central bay and three in Suisun Bay – to two companies: Hanson Marine Operations and Jerico Products. A nonprofit environmental group, San Francisco Baykeeper, countered with a lawsuit in November, claiming the project’s environmental impact report didn’t properly assess the effects of mining activity on coastal erosion.

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