Beach sand replenishment effort moves to Solana Beach


As part of the ongoing restoration of the San Elijo Lagoon, crews will begin pumping sand from the lagoon onto Fletcher Cove Beach in Solana Beach April 27, continuing the process of replenishing and preserving part of the North County shoreline.

Over the last eight weeks, crews pumped nearly 300,000 cubic yards (averaging 7,000 cubic yards per day) of sand onto Cardiff State Beach, working their way south from the lagoon inlet toward Seaside State Beach.

Crews began installing a conveyance pipeline to Fletcher Cove Beach in Solana Beach this week. Beginning April 27, crews will reinitiate dredging operations that will move sand from the San Elijo Lagoon onto Fletcher Cove Beach. Operations will be conducted around the clock (24/7) and approximately 140,000 cubic yards of sand — equivalent to filling over 42 Olympic-sized swimming pools — will be placed at Fletcher Cove Beach by the end of this segment of the project.

Nearby residents and visitors will hear noise and see lighting near Fletcher Cove Beach during operations.

Beachgoers may smell a faint wetland scent from the newly dredged sand, which is temporary and will fade quickly. Beachgoers may also see fine sediments in the water, which will settle shortly after project completion. San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy monitors the water quality and surf breaks throughout the operation. Portions of the beach will be closed while crews are working in the area to ensure public safety during sand deposit operations.

Beach sand replenishment at Fletcher Cove Beach is anticipated to take approximately four weeks to complete. The previously reported beach sand replenishment plan included placing sand off-shore. As the pumping operations progressed, the placement of sand off-shore was determined to be not necessary, due to project enhancements.

San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy, Caltrans, and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) are overseeing the beach sand replenishment project, which is part of an ongoing $102-million effort to restore the San Elijo Lagoon. The lagoon restoration is one element of the North Coast Corridor (NCC) Program, a comprehensive set of projects to add carpool lanes to Interstate 5 (I-5), double track the coastal rail corridor, provide walking and biking trails, and enhance the region’s natural resources. 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. --News release