On July 13, 2017, California Coastal Commissioners unanimously approved the proposed settlement to remove the Lapis Lustre Sand Mine in Marina. This historical settlement was signed by Cemex on June 23, after almost two years of investigations and confidential negotiations. 50 advocates and supporters attended the rally with T-shirts and signs urging Commissioners to approve the settlement.
What this means
Under the agreement, Cemex will have to cut back their production by roughly a third. They will continue to operate for three years, and stop taking sand from our beaches by the end of 2020.
After that, they will have three years to remove all the buildings, equipment, and restore the land to native dune habitat. They will be required to sell the property to a non-profit or government agency approved by the commission, and the land will be preserved for habitat, coastal access, and recreation.
Why this is a good deal
While Surfrider has been demanding that Cemex to close now, the reality is without an agreement they could have slowed down any action by potentially ten years through lawsuits. After that, they could have sold the land to a developer or hotel.
With this agreement, we know the land will be converted to parks and open space, and have a guarantee that the plant will close.
The Surfrider Foundation Monterey Chapter was working to stop what it believes is un-permitted development under the Coastal Act by the CEMEX sand mining plant in Marina, California. CEMEX is believed to mine approximately 270,000 cubic yards of sand a year (and perhaps more), from the beach. Sand is a precious resource, vital to our coasts, and CEMEX’s operations are suspected to be a primary cause of beach and dune erosion in southern Monterey Bay. CEMEX is believed to be the cause of major erosion at regional public beaches such as the Marina Dunes Preserve, Fort Ord Dunes State Park, and Monterey State Beach. The Monterey Chapter is engaged to protect the region’s coastal resources, including its sandy beaches, from CEMEX’s operations, and to ensure CEMEX operations are in legal compliance.
- Monterey County Weekly:Coastal Commission unanimously approves order to shut down Cemex mine.
- Jim Hightower Little Guys can win
- Santa Cruz SentinelKatherine O’Dea and Ryan Kallabis: Our sand is finally saved
- Hanford SentinelLast sand mine In US will close on California beach in 2020
- SF GateDeal reached to close sand mine allegedly eroding Monterey Bay
- Monterey County Weekly: Coastal Commission poised to settle with Cemex.
- SF Gate: CA Regulators move towards closing Monterey Bay sand mine
- Monterey County Weekly:A state agency flexes its muscle against Cemex. This time, it’s not a threat. It’s an order.
- ABC7 News:Mexican corporation accused of damaging Monterey Bay coast
- SF Chronicle Editorial:End the California Sand Rush
- KION:Monterey council members take action over controversial Cemex plant
- SF Chronicle:Ignoring state threats, firm keeps sucking sand from Monterey Bay
- KAZU: Surfriders Monitor CEMEX Sand Mine While Negotiations Continue
- Monterey County Weekly: Activists hold protest at CEMEX mine; CEMEX responds
- Monterey County Weekly: Decision to shut down CEMEX sand mine remains elusive
- Monterey Herald: CEMEX: The sand mining conundrum
- KION: Sand Mining on the Central Coast: The future of Marina’s CEMEX plant in question
- Monterey County Weekly: CEMEX sand mine decision anticipated before year’s end
- KAZU: For Now, Coastal Commission opts for drawn-out talks over litigation with CEMEX in Marina
- Monterey County Weekly: County: Marina sand mine operated illegally since 1965
- Monterey County Weekly: CEMEX mine reflects human hunger for sand
- Southern Monterey Bay has the highest coastal erosion rate in California; evidence suggests long-term sand mining is the primary cause
- The Lapis Sand Mine has been increasing the amount of sand it removes. One current estimate is that CEMEX is taking 380,000 cubic yards (about 70 football fields three feet deep) of sand each year
- The mine generates over $200,000 annually in property tax revenue, but the cost of beach erosion to the cities of Southern Monterey Bay is estimated at over $1,000,000 per year
- The mine operates without a Coastal Development Permit. The California Coastal Commission has issued a “notice of intent” but state officials need the public’s help and support in order to carry out a cease and desist order