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Encinitas wants a sandier beach. Here’s how that will happen

Posted on March 11, 2024

Rising sea levels due to climate change threaten our coastal communities. The City of Encinitas says it’s fighting back by building a beach along the coast and bringing in sand – 340 thousand cubic yards of sand, to be exact.

The Encinitas Solana Beach Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Project is now known as the The San Diego County, CA Project. The primary goal of the project is to add sand to the shoreline with the aim of attenuating waves that further erode the coastal bluffs and provide more useable beach sand for visitors. In Encinitas, the project involves the installation of a 50-foot-wide beach fill along a 7,800-foot-long stretch of shoreline using compatible sand, with replenishment every five years on average over a 50-year period.

Harriet and Paul live near Encinitas and like the idea of the City bringing in sand. Harriet shared,

“I guess I never really thought about where the sand comes from,” Harriet said.

Paul adds, “I had a feeling (something was happening) because there are a lot of rocks here in the winter, and then they magically disappear. So, I always wondered.”

Harriet chimed in, “We pay so much in taxes to live here, I think if it’s going to go towards anything, it could go towards beaches so everyone can get out and enjoy them with their families.”

“I think the beaches are a natural beauty to San Diego,” Paul said. “It’s the biggest draw, so I think we should invest in it.”

Adam Devey says he’s excited about the opportunity to get to a sandier beach, but there are always consequences for human actions when we mess with Mother Nature.

“I know they want to avoid erosion in some spots, especially beautiful ones like this, where people come to relax,” he said. “I can’t argue with that; I’m one of those people. But I think you have to balance that out with the current effects that it might have. You have to know that nature is going to have its way. So, you can buy some time, but what impact does that have on other communities further down the line.”

Allison Blackwell, the Deputy Mayor for the City of Encinitas, says the project costs $43 million – and only a little more than $1 million comes directly from the city of Encinitas. The rest of the money comes from the state and federal governments.

Blackwell says the project reduces the force of waves that erode shorelines and bluffs, making for a better beach experience.

“It is a bit of a fight against nature and climate change, but we need to do our part to protect our shoreline,” she said. “A lot is at stake there just for a healthy shoreline, and it also helps the towns along the shore.”

Blackwell tells CBS 8 that $28 million comes from the federal government, about $11.5 million comes from a state grant, and the cities of Encinitas and Solana Beach will split their $3.6 million responsibility.

Blackwell says the city of Encinitas’ responsibility is $1.02 million and is a good investment for the area.

Adam adds, “Bigger picture, we need to look at why the oceans are rising globally and work on reducing our impact on that.”

The project should be complete by June 2024.

WATCH RELATED: Long-awaited sand replenishment project wraps at Solana Beach, moves north


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