Cemex beach mine faces public protest

Cemex’s Lapis Lustre sand mine in Marina, California is nowhere near shutting down despite best efforts from environmentalists.

Cemex faces further public demonstrations against its Lustre sand mine in Marina, California

Demonstrations against the mine by Save Our Shores and Surfrider Monterey are planned for Monday, January 16. Both organisations want the Cemex mine shut permanently.

The mine, in a dredge pond on a beach in Marina, has operated since the 1960s but is blamed by some for coastal erosion. The mine is not regulated because the pond is above the mean hightide line. However, the California Coastal Commission says the mine violates the California Coastal Act and has threatened to shut the operation if the violations continue.

Noaki Schwartz, a spokesperson for the commission, told Monterey County Now: “Our enforcement program is continuing to work on this matter as a top priority and we expect to bring it before the commission for resolution at a hearing close to Monterey County in the near future.”

Cemex invited people to tour the mine in early fall, including Marina residents Kathy Biala and Karyn Wolfe, both of whom are vocal critics of the mine. They say Cemex officials claimed the mine wasn’t causing erosion, and that the company – in response to a threatened shutdown – could sell the land to a hotel developer.

In the meantime Cemex continues to supply high-quality sand from its mine.

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