USA: Regional Beach Replenishment Project Kicks Off
Between September and December, the region’s shoreline will be enhanced with more than 1.4 million cubic yards of high-quality sand, equal to about 120,000 truckloads. The goal is to restore eroded beaches, support local tourism, and preserve recreational opportunities.
SANDAG, which is coordinating the $28.5 million Regional Beach Sand Project with support from community leaders in the coastal areas, kicked off the project on September 8. Funding comes from the cities of Carlsbad, Encinitas, Imperial Beach, Oceanside, and Solana Beach, as well as the California Department of Boating and Waterways.
“People from around the world come to San Diego County to enjoy our world-class surf and beaches, so it’s important that we restore eroded beaches by periodically replenishing them with additional sand,” said SANDAG Chair and Encinitas Mayor Jerome Stocks. “Sand replenishment also benefits shorebirds by providing them with additional sandy beach habitat; and it helps support our local economy, as well as protect public and private infrastructure from high tides and storm damage.”
The project – a 24/7 operation – starts in Imperial Beach in the southern part of the county and moves north to Oceanside and Encinitas, then concludes in Solana Beach and Carlsbad. A total of eight beaches will get sand.
The mobilization of equipment may occur prior to and immediately following replenishment. To preserve maximum access, beaches will be nourished in approximately 500-foot segments that shift along the fill site until each beach is completed. To ensure public safety, the construction area will be clearly marked and will not be accessible. However, the public will have access to all other areas of the beach.
Sand will be dredged from designated offshore areas within approximately one mile of the shoreline. The dredge sites have been thoroughly researched in order to obtain clean, beach-quality sand with a color, texture, and size similar or slightly coarser than what currently exists on the beaches targeted for replenishment. The goal is to find coarse grained sand that will remain on the beaches for a longer period of time.
The current project builds on the success of the 2001 sand replenishment. Gains in beach widths from that effort lasted for approximately five years on average. As of 2011, at some beaches, there still appeared to be sand left from the prior project, and that material will serve as a foundation for the current project.
The current sand replenishment differs from the last one in several aspects. The sand grain size is planned to be larger this time for the City of Solana Beach; the Oceanside and Imperial Beach sites targeted for replenishment have been shifted slightly to the north; and the cities of Del Mar and San Diego, which participated in the last project, are not part of the current effort.
Press Release, September 10, 2012