Project underway to replenish sand on San Diego beaches

A $28.5 million project to replenish sand on eight San Diego County beaches got under way Monday in Imperial Beach, according to the San Diego Association of Governments.

Between September and December, more than 1.4 million cubic yards of sand will be dredged to restore eroded beaches in Imperial Beach, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Carlsbad and Oceanside, SANDAG officials said.

“People from around the world come to San Diego County to enjoy our world-class surf and beaches, so it's important we restore eroded beaches by periodically replenishing them with additional sand,” said Jerome Stocks, SANDAG chair and Encinitas mayor. “Sand replenishment also benefits shorebirds by providing them with an 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.”

County beaches have steadily eroded over the past decades and sand no longer flows downstream due to development, water supply and flood control projects, and modifications to the coastline, according to SANDAG.

The beaches will be replenished in 500-foot segments, which will not be publicly accessible as sand-laden water is pumped in. The closures will shift along the fill site until each beach is completed.

The sand will be dredged from designated off-shore areas within a mile of the shoreline that have sand similar to that on the beaches or is slightly coarser, SANDAG said.

The cities of Carlsbad, Encinitas, Imperial Beach, Oceanside and Solana Beach are funding the project, along with the California Department of Boating and Waterways.

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