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Sand! We love it so much that sometimes we want to take sand home from the beach. No, not the sand we take home on our feet and in our bathing suits – that kind of sand is unwanted.
Some people want to take sand home from the beach for landscaping, for sandboxes, and to put in jars (decoration). It can look great alongside succulents and nearby fountains.
I’ll admit, sand can be beautiful especially colored beach sand that have white, black, and pink hues. But is taking sand from the beach allowed?
Although it might be tempting to fill up a bag (or truck) with sand from the beach, you might want to think twice before taking that sand.
Sand Is Big Business
If you’ve been to a big tourist beach you may have noticed the tractors on the beach combing the sand and trucks dumping sand to fill the beach. Why are they doing this?
Well, not all beaches have an endless supply of sand and some of the most popular beaches rely on sand imported from other beaches. The amount of sand depends largely on the size of beach and its topography.
Municipalities, especially in tourist areas, go to great length to bring in sand from other places. Yes, they buy sand for their beaches (seems artificial right?).
The fact that cities sometimes buy sand for their beaches won’t deter someone from taking sand, however the reasons below will give you a better idea if you can take sand from the beach!
4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Take Sand From The Beach
#1 It’s Against The Law
Did you know that removing sand from your local beach is against the law? In California, state beaches do not allow the removable of any geological features including rocks, gravel, oil, and sand. Florida has similar rules to protect the beach ecosystem.
Similarly, other beach items like shells, plants, and driftwood are also prohibited. You’re probably thinking, “I’ve taken a seashell before”. Small items like shells and sand dollars are usually overlooked but be careful to look for signs that mentioned “protected” or “endangered” species.
Each State or municipality will have specific rules so be sure to check before taking. Most of the laws regarding sand pertain to large amounts like a truckload. If you take a cup full of sand you’re unlikely to be prosecuted.
#2 Beaches Are Losing Sand
While some beaches seem to have an endless supple of sand, other beaches, especially those large tourist beaches can never have enough sand.
Purchasing large amounts of sand and transporting it to their beaches costs cities a lot of money. By taking sand away from the beach to your house or project, you’re only adding to the problem.
You’re better off searching for your own place to purchase sand rather than have the city foot the bill and risk breaking the law.
#3 Sand Isn’t All The Same
Most people don’t consider that sand has different, weight, texture, and color. There is black sand, brown, tan, grey, white, and even pink color sand. The color of the sand depends on the minerals in the area – that’s why black sand is usually near volcanic rock and pink sand is found near pink colored coral.
What really matters is how you’ll used the sand? Many people want to take sand from the beach to fill a sandbox at home. But sandbox sand is best when it’s a larger particle size and weight.
If the beach in your area has heavy sand then you might be in luck, but most of the sand on beautiful beaches is incredibly fine (it’s silt-like). Fine sand, that is very small, is great at the beach but it tends to stick to skin and it’s hard to get off – this is a nightmare for kids playing in a sandbox because they return to the house with sand all over them.
The best sandbox sand is usually ground stone into a size that is heavy and won’t stick to skin. It might not look as pretty as beach sand but it will stay in the sandbox where it belongs.
Leave the beach sand alone and opt for a larger sand size for the sandbox.
#4 Sand Is Too Heavy
Another reason why you don’t want to take sand from your favorite beach is the weight! Yes, you and I both know that sand is super heavy – even heavier if it’s damp.
So who is going to do the heavy lifting? Will you fill a bag or a truck? You better bring shovels and a wagon. And make sure your tires don’t get stuck in the sand.
The logistics of obtaining sand from the beach may seem easy but it won’t be easy. You might even injure your back.
Local businesses might offer free loading and delivery. Sand that’s delivered is more than worth the hassle of loading and unloading sand taken from the beach.
Of course if you’re taking a jar full of sand to put on your window seal you’ll probably be fine – just don’t try to take it through the airport!
It might seem like a great idea to take sand from the beach but it’s probably not a wise decision. Most States and cities have policies against taking sand, plants, fish, and wood from beaches.
Even if they aren’t likely to enforce the rules they certainly will if you take a large amount. If you’re on vacation it’s not a good idea to pack sand in your bag and take through the airport. 1) you don’t want to carry around heavy sand and 2) airports have a reputation for being sticklers when it comes to the law.
Rather than take sand from the beach, you can probably find it at your locat home improvement store. There you can buy sand in various sizes (large-fine) and find the type of sand that suits your needs (preferred option for sandboxes).
The beach is a great place to be and there’s plenty of sand. Most days we try to get the sand off our feet but