Cardiff Beach and Fletcher Cove get 440,000 yards of new sand

CARDIFF (KUSI) – Fletcher Cove in Solana Beach and Cardiff State Beach have been replenished with fresh sand!  The restoration project that’s been going on since February is now complete but this was just the beginning of an even bigger project to improve the entire North Coast corridor of San Diego County.

Beach goers say Cardiff has never looked this good. “It’s so open and wide and super clean.”

It’s come a long way since 1998, when the beach was all cobblestone. Crews just completed pumping nearly half a million cubic yards of sand on to the beach from the San Elijo Lagoon using a 24-inch pipe.

“We put about 300,000 cubic yards of sand on Cardiff State Beach then we went down and stretch that pipe all the way down to Fletcher Cove and here we put another 140,000 cubic yards” said Doug Gibson, Executive Director and Principal Scientist for the San Elijo Lagoon Restoration Conservancy.

There were multiple reasons why this was needed.

Mayor of Encinitas, Catherine Blakespear said “This part of Highway 101 is one of the lowest sections, the ocean overtops the road and beach sand helps protect the road.”

And of course, another reason was for recreational purposes.  Cardiff State Beach is now one of the top 5 best restored beaches of 2018 and the only beach recognized on the West Coast.  The native, beach-  quality-sand makes all the difference.

“Because it’s been buried in the San Elijo Lagoon it doesn’t have a lot of ground up shells or other sea life it’s just pure sand.” said Blakespear.

But the completion of the sand replenishment is really only the beginning of the first phase a much bigger improvement project called “Build NCC” which stands for Build North Coast Corridor.

“Build  NCC is an exciting project to get carpool lanes extended from Solana Beach all the way to the 78 that’s 13 miles of brand new carpool lanes as well as expanding the rail line, that’s double tracking in San Elejo.” said Alan Kosup, NCC Director of Caltrans.

The first phase of Build NCC will cost $118 million and is expected to be completed by 2020.  The entire project encompasses a 40 year plan to vastly improve 27 miles of the Northern Coastline from La Jolla Village up to Oceanside.

“The idea is to reduce congestion on the I-5, provide people new transportation options by improving the rail line, double tracking the rail line and then providing brand new bike and pedestrian Connections and Coastal access.” said Kosup.

San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy is the nonprofit land trust for San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve. Its mission is to protect and restore the resources of the 1,000-acre reserve, its watershed, and related ecosystems for the benefit of current and future generations. More information on the San Elijo Lagoon Restoration is available at: SanElijo.org/RevivingWetlands

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