Del Mar will not participate in a second regional beach sand replenishment project, coordinated by the San Diego Association of Governments.
At the recommendation of City Manager Karen Brust, the City Council unanimously agreed that the city did not have the $219,000 to cover its portion of the project, which would pump a total of 2 million cubic yards of sand onto San Diego's coastline. Council members also declined to contribute any more funds toward the design and engineering phases of the project.
"This is not a surprise," Mayor Crystal Crawford said. "For years, we've been telling them we can't afford this."
The California Department of Boating and Waterways has agreed to fund 85 percent of the $23 million project, with the local coastal cities contributing 15 percent, or about $3.4 million.
Solana Beach, Encinitas, Oceanside and Imperial Beach have all signed up for the project. Carlsbad is expected to decide next month. However, San Diego, with the largest contribution of $1.2 million, has not made a final decision yet.
Besides not having the funds to contribute, Del Mar's need to participate is much less than neighboring cities - its beach is in much better condition, and about 80,000 cubic yards of sand is coming to Del Mar's beach from lagoon dredging at the end of the year.
Councilman Carl Hilliard said beach nourishment should not be solely the burden of the coastal cities, but the entire county, which enjoys and benefits from the beaches.