The Earth’s geology has long caused issues for the people living on it. Earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, and volcanic eruptions have been going on long before humans were around and will continue long after we’re gone. However, the beaches in South Florida are facing a far less lethal problem for us and we’re coming up with an odd way of solving it. The sand on Florida’s beaches is constantly being drawn back into the ocean and keeping the beaches looking healthy and robust means constantly replenishing the beaches with sand. This problem is by no means old and for decades Florida simply took sand from elsewhere in the state and moved it to the beaches to keep them looking the way they do.
Florida is running into a problem though. They’re running out of land based sand to replenish the beaches. It has reached the point where Broward County is now looking at other more expensive alternatives. One such alternative would be dredging up sand from the seafloor just offshore and using that sand. That option is both expensive and environmentally destructive to the marine species that live there. Another more eco-friendly alternative is to pulverize recycled glass into a fine sand and use that on the beaches. Glass is made mostly from sand and if it is pulverized enough it is just about indistinguishable from beach sand. Such an idea was first proposed ten years ago but its implementation was derailed from state budget costs caused by the recession in 2008. Now seems like a good time to revive the idea though. It is a more efficient and more environmentally friendly way of recycling glass and it will help to preserve Florida’s beaches well into the future.