After about two weeks of digging, heavy equipment has cleared a buildup of sand from the San Dieguito River inlet to restore tidal flushing to the lagoon, reports the City of Del Mar, California.
According to their latest release, excavators successfully opened the river channel to the ocean earlier this month.
As an added benefit, an estimated 16,000 cubic yards of sand has been spread on the beach south of the river mouth to 18th Street.
Up and down north San Diego County, inlets of coastal lagoons are routinely dredged to allow for saltwater exchange that is critical to the wetlands’ fragile ecology, which supports thriving communities of birds, marine life and vegetation, the city said.
The dredging is paid for by Southern California Edison and is part of a mitigation agreement that began around 2003 with a four-year, $100 million restoration of the San Dieguito Wetlands. The project created vast tidal basins west and east of Interstate 5.
The utility agreed to the restoration and continued dredging of the river channel to compensate for marine life harmed by the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.
The San Dieguito Lagoon inlet was last dredged in 2017.