Posted on May 8, 2023
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District commander joined U.S. Rep. Mike Levin and San Clemente Mayor Chris Duncan to sign a ceremonial project partnership agreement May 4 to protect the San Clemente shoreline.
Col. Julie Balten joined Levin and Duncan for the press conference and ceremonial signing that celebrates the collaboration between the Corps and the City of San Clemente for the construction of the 50-foot-wide beach nourishment project along a 3,412-foot-long stretch of shoreline using a replenishment of 200,000 cubic yards of compatible sediment every six years on average for the next 50 years.
The initial construction is an estimated $15 million with a 65/35 cost share between the Corps and the City of San Clemente.
“I want to emphasize how much we value the collaboration we have with the City of San Clemente as we work to reduce shoreline erosion and protect coastal infrastructure from storm-induced waves along the San Clemente shoreline for those who live, work and recreate here, and those who use the rail service between Orange County and San Diego,” Balten said.
“I’m excited as we bring the talent and the experience of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to work side by side with the City of San Clemente in the investment to restore and preserve the shoreline, and to protect community members,” Balten added. “We are in a unique position to make a positive impact and potentially create a better, safer tomorrow for those of us here now and for future residents.”
The loss of shoreline protection reduces recreational beach width and can cause damage to coastal residential and commercial properties from storm-induced waves. This can present a threat to community members, homes, businesses, transportation and those who visit San Clemente State Beach.
The narrowing of the shoreline can subject the public facilities, seaward of the railroad corridor, to wave-induced damage and further reduces recreational space on an already space-limited area. This includes the nearby Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF), Amtrak and Metrolink commuter rail line that carries more than 100,000 passengers per day.
The project, however, is designed to help address all these issues by reducing the potential for storm damage to facilities located along the coast of San Clemente, including recreational beach facilities and the rail corridor, and helping restore and maintain recreational use along the San Clemente coastal area.
“This is really the core of San Clemente,” Duncan told reporters gathered at the event. “If you know anything about San Clemente, you know the beaches are the fabric where we paint our lives. This is incredibly important to the citizens of San Clemente, to all of our visitors and to our businesses as well because our beaches are critical to our local economy.
“This project is going to go a long, long way to solidifying this area, protecting it from future erosion, allowing our residents to enjoy it, and continuing to bring people to this area to spend money and support our local economy,” Duncan added. “I’m incredibly proud of all the partnership we’ve got here and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for working on this and seeing it through.”
The signing and press conference were followed by another, similar project-partnership agreement event at Fletcher Cove Community Center in Solana Beach, which included Balten, Levin, and the mayors of Solana Beach and Encinitas.