SandFirst Logo

USES: Mudflats, Cap Amendment Placement

What is SandFirst™?

A boardwalk above the water

SandFirst™ Sand Stabilizer (SandFirst) is a solution that is applied to beaches, enhancing the cohesion of sand particles, and causing them to remain within the natural accretion/erosion nearshore area.

The SandFirst solution may be applied in the intertidal zone, the dry beach, or on dunes. The solution coats the particles and allows for enhanced cohesion. These bonds allow for material coated with the solution to remain in the nearshore area during erosion cycles rather than be transported offshore. The SandFirst treated sand within the nearshore area remains readily available during natural sand accretion cycles.


The primary function of SandFirst is to enhance sand retention on the beach, but there are additional advantages. The natural composition of the SandFirst provides a food source for microorganisms, the benthic community and dune vegetation, creating an environment for improved benthic density on the beach and improved vegetation on dunes. SandFirst also allows for increased moisture retention which reduces windblown erosion and improves conditions for plant growth, further reducing dune erosion. These benefits work in tandem to provide a more sustainable beach and ecosystem.

The SandFirst products are GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) due to the non-toxic food-grade nature of their ingredients. The products are biodegradable and are formulated based on site specific sand and water characteristics. The use of SandFirst does not cause any discernable change to the appearance or texture of the sand.

SandFirst treatment passed the aquatic acute toxicity tests (> 90% survival) in an aquatic toxicity testing conducted at New England Bioassay (NEB) in Manchester, CT. SandFirst formulations are composed of polysaccharides and vegetable protein extracts that are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA.

Our Process

EcoStable will evaluate your site and assist in establishing the best course of action. A site-specific product formulation will be designed and a treatment program will be developed for your project.

  • Site Evaluation

    Services may include the below steps, as necessary:

    • Representative sand and water samples are collected in order to properly engineer the SandFirst formulation and optimize it for field application. Sand mineralogical and surface characterization may also be conducted.
    • Historical and current satellite imaging related to beach conditions are conducted.
    • A visual assessment of the prevailing currents and wave action is conducted.
    • A baseline benthic evaluation is conducted.
  • Laboratory Testing

    EcoStable Technologies provides laboratory bench scale testing on sand and seawater samples from the intertidal zone and the dry beach. The goal of the testing is to optimize the SandFirst cohesion-enhancing formulation.

  • Product Preparation

    Based on the laboratory testing, the site-specific SandFirst formulation is manufactured and shipped to the site.

  • Application

    Depending on the site, a pilot-scale test may be conducted in order to assess the effectiveness of the treatment and refine the full-scale application. SandFirst is mixed to make an aqueous slurry which is placed by either spraying, applying it in trenches, or using beach rakes with sprayers. The treatment consists of bi-weekly applications for the first six months to impart the desired cohesion enhancement to the sand.

  • Monitoring

    Periodic topographic surveys will be conducted to assess the stability of the intertidal zone and the dry beach. A benthic survey may also be conducted to assess the impact of the treatment on the benthic population.

  • Maintenance

    Additional SandFirst applications may be needed depending on the longevity of the initial 6-month cohesion-enhancing treatment. EcoStable will evaluate monitoring results from your site and establish the best maintenance course of action.