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The Encinitas-Solana Beach Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Project, now referred to as the San Diego County, CA Project, accomplished a major milestone this week. The City received word on Tuesday, January 19th, that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers workplan includes $30.5 million in federal funding for construction of the Project. Encinitas and Solana Beach are partners in this Project, and the State has also been a financial partner through the feasibility and permitting phases. Initial construction of the Project involves placing 340,000 cubic yards of sand along 7,800 feet of beach in Encinitas and 700,000 cubic yards of sand along 7,200 feet of beach in Solana Beach. Renourishment of the beaches, at lesser volumes, will occur every 5 years in Encinitas and every 10 years in Solana Beach for a 50-year time period.

“This coastline resiliency project is very important to the City of Encinitas and for the millions of people who visit our beaches every year” stated Mayor of Encinitas Catherine Blakespear. “This project would not be possible without the support of Congressman Levin, and Senators Feinstein and Padilla, who all worked hard to secure the federal funding necessary to complete this project.” Mayor Blakespear continued, “I am ecstatic that the importance of this project has been recognized and included in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Work Plan.”

The purpose of the Project is to protect coastal infrastructure by raising and widening the beach, which diminishes wave action against coastal bluffs and maintains a buffer between infrastructure and the ocean. Additionally, the Project intends to provide a safer and enhanced beach experience, since adding sand to shorelines provides more useable beach area for recreation. These immediate benefits will be noticeable after initial construction, which is slated to begin in 2023/2024. Over the long term, renourishment on a cyclical basis for the 50-year life of the Project builds coastal resiliency against rising seas and heightened storms fueled by climate change.

In Encinitas, the Project extends south from approximately Beacons Beach to beach areas north of Swamis. Before construction can begin, a one-year period of biological and physical monitoring is required. The monitoring establishes baseline conditions from which the Project affects can be evaluated.