Encinitas CA— As surfers and early morning beachgoers made their way down the Cardiff State Beach strand, local elected officials and representatives from SANDAG, Caltrans, the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association, California State Parks, and the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy gathered to celebrate both the completion of beach sand replenishment work on Cardiff State Beach in Encinitas and Fletcher Cove in Solana Beach, and a prestigious, nationally-recognized award for beach preservation.
The American Shore & Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) selected Cardiff State Beach as one of the nation’s best restored beaches in 2018, the only to be recognized on the West Coast. ASBPA released its annual “Best Restored Beaches” list on May 21.
Earlier this year, construction crews pumped nearly 440,000 cubic yards of sand onto the two North County beaches from the central basin of the San Elijo Lagoon, completing the process to replenish, preserve, and reinforce the shoreline with native, beach quality sand as part of the San Elijo Lagoon Restoration Project. By late June, crews had demobilized equipment from the beach just in time for summer kick off in San Diego County.
“The San Elijo Lagoon Restoration project is a critical element of the North Coast Corridor program (NCC). The beach sand replenishment project is an important piece in a larger effort over the next several decades to enhance mobility and the health of six-coastal lagoons, preserve our shoreline, protect several hundred acres of coastal habitat, and ultimately improve beach access to our residents along the 27-mile corridor,” said SANDAG Chair and Del Mar City Councilmember Terry Sinnott.
Coastal leaders praised the replenishment and restoration of the beaches.
“Going to the beach is a way of life for our residents. The additional beach sand is a huge improvement to their quality of life. Our community values the efforts to preserve our beaches and native habitats for future generations,” said Mayor of Encinitas Catherine Blakespear.
Caltrans, working closely with SANDAG, and the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy, is leading restoration and construction efforts in the lagoon.
“The environmental enhancements to the coastline that we are celebrating today, in addition to the on-going highway, rail, and bike and pedestrian improvements are the result of a successful collaboration and a commitment by local, state, and federal agencies to provide stakeholders with a safe, sustainable, integrated, and efficient transportation system that enhances San Diego’s economy and livability,” said Allan Kosup, the North Coast Corridor Director for Caltrans District 11.
Beach sand replenishment work began in February 2018. Crews completed most of the replenishment work at Cardiff State Beach in April 2018, placing nearly 270,000 cubic yards of sand on the beach. 140,000 cubic yards of sand was then pumped onto Fletcher Cove in Solana Beach, and the remaining 30,000 cubic yards of sand was placed at Cardiff State Beach in mid-June.
“We are meeting our goals to improve beach conditions by using locally sourced sand to protect Coast Highway 101, to increase the recreational opportunities at the beach, and improve the sandy beach habitat,” said Doug Gibson, Executive Director and Principal Scientist for San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy. “The beach is now wider and consists of beach-quality material.”
The San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy, Caltrans, and SANDAG oversaw the project, which is part of an ongoing $118-million effort to restore the San Elijo Lagoon. The lagoon restoration is one element of the North Coast Corridor (NCC) Program, a long-term, comprehensive set of planned transportation, mobility, and environmental projects to improve the quality of life for north San Diego County coastal communities. The NCC Program was unanimously approved by the California Coastal Commission in 2014. The restoration project is funded through TransNet, the voter-approved half-cent sales tax administered by SANDAG.