Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Sand and gravel resources of Puerto Rico

December 31, 2003

Many of Puerto Rico's beaches are eroding, and though rates of erosion vary, it is a major concern for the tourism and residential development industries. More than 85 percent of the population lives within 7 kilometers of the coast and they are heavily dependent on tourists that are attracted by the island's beaches and coral reefs. High-quality scientific data are needed to help formulate public policy regarding residential and commercial construction along the coast, beach replenishment, and future use of marine resources. Scientists have long recognized that the causes of coastal land loss are not limited to a relative rise in sea level, but can be manmade as well. For example, sediment supply to beaches especially along the north shore of Puerto Rico has been strongly affected by upstream river channeling, dam construction, various agricultural practices, paving and urbanization, as well as shallow-water oceanographic processes. The response to coastal erosion in Puerto Rico has been mostly crisis based leading to engineered solutions that have a negative effect on the coastal environment.

Title Sand and gravel resources of Puerto Rico
DOI 10.3133/70182009
Authors Rafael W. Rodriguez
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Unnumbered Series
Index ID 70182009
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coastal and Marine Geology Program