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In the age of stolen sand

July 31 2009 | Beach fill, Jim's Blog,
by Jim

It was just a matter of time... a town spends $19,000,000 on a public works / tourism project and others steal it.

"Mexico spent $19 million to replace Cancun beaches washed away by Hurricane Wilma in 2005. But much of the sand pumped from the sea floor has since washed away, leading some property owners to build breakwaters in a bid to retain sand. The practice often merely shifts sand loss to beaches below the breakwaters.

"Today we made the decision to close this stretch of ill-gotten, illegally accumulated sand,"
said Patricio Patron, Mexico's attorney general for environmental protection. "This hotel was telling its tourists: 'Come here, I have sand ... the other hotels don't, because I stole it.'"

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