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Encinitas, CA – Finishing touches on the “first of its kind” Cardiff State Beach Living Shoreline project were completed last week, with final Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) measures and road striping completed along the 2500 block of Highway 101 just in time for the summer beach season. This is the second ADA accessible beach area in Encinitas with Mobi-Mat wheelchair access to hard-pack sand on the beach (the other is Moonlight Beach).  

Construction began in October 2018 to build sand dunes supporting native plant and animal habitat which serve to protect a stretch of Cardiff shoreline and Highway 101 historically plagued by storm surges and flooding and provide habitat for native plants and wildlife.

Funding for the $2.5 million Cardiff State Beach Living Shoreline project substantially came from the State Coastal Conservancy, the California Ocean Protection Council, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG).

The half-mile, sand dune restoration pilot project was headed by the City of Encinitas, California State Parks, the State Coastal Conservancy and the Nature Collective (formerly known as the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy). The project’s goals are to protect Highway 101 from damaging storm surges and limit coastal flooding while enhancing wildlife habitat for sensitive and special-status plant and animal species.

The Living Shoreline Project is a pilot project for southern California cities facing similar sea level rise and climate change challenges. These challenges include maintaining infrastructure in the coastal zone, while following the guidance of the California Coastal Commission to limit the use of “hard” protection techniques, such as sea walls and revetments.


About the City of Encinitas                                                                                                                  

Located along six miles of Pacific coastline in northern San Diego County, Encinitas has an approximate population of 63,000 and is characterized by coastal beaches, cliffs, flat-topped coastal areas, steep mesa bluffs and rolling hills. The city was incorporated in 1986, drawing together the communities of New Encinitas, Old Encinitas, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Olivenhain and Leucadia.

About California State Parks

With more than 340 miles of coastline, 970 miles of lake and river frontage, 15,000 campsites and 4,500 miles of trails, State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. Off-highway motor vehicle recreation, boating activities, horseback riding, on- and off-road cycling, hiking, camping and rock climbing are some of the recreational activities enjoyed in 280 state parks.

About the California State Coastal Conservancy                                                                                            

The Coastal Conservancy is a State agency established in 1976 to protect and improve natural lands and waterways, help people access and enjoy the outdoors, and sustain local economies along the length of California’s coast and around San Francisco Bay.

About the Nature Collective (formerly San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy)                                        

The Nature Collective is a nonprofit that exists to drive a passion for nature, for all. Our vision is a world where everyone experiences, connects with, and protects nature. We uphold inclusivity and diversity when serving those growing up devoid of nature, those who remember nature and want to connect back to it, and those who already have an affinity with the outdoors. CONNECT. EXPERIENCE. PROTECT.

About the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.