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Public hearings on 50-year Encinitas/Solana Beach nourishment project

Click here for a UT article about the Feb 6th and Feb 7th public hearings on the proposed 50-year beach nourishment project in Solana Beach and Encinitas.

Surfrider San Diego is still reviewing the EIR and in the process of developing our stance on this version of the Army Corp project (yes, there was an EIR on a similar version of this project in 2005). So far we have voiced the following concerns:
  • The short analysis of the Managed Retreat alternative in the EIR/EIS is setup to be "impractical and infeasible". Managed retreat does not happen over night and requires leadership and planning. Just discounting the policy because the cities can not afford to buy all the property is missing the point. This is a costly Federal project, and more than a cursory hand waving should be used to evaluate Managed Retreat.
  • The EIR admits that reefs in Solana Beach will be covered in sand, making reef breaks more suitable for beginning surfers. This is not an impact we feel is tolerable.
  • Baseline issue: acknowledge that sand is not going to fix the problem. Even if sand is added, the shoreline still retreats. Real purpose of this project is to protect houses.
  • Monitoring of impacts to surfing must be a project requirement.
To understand the chapter's guiding principles on these issues, please see our  Beach Preservation policy.
Regarding the recent regional SANDAG project (RBSPII), we did not oppose the project but instead provided feedback on the amount of sand that was going to be placed and advocated that monitoring of the impacts to surfing be a project requirement. The Coastal Commission agreed with us on the surf monitoring requirement, and charged us to take that on, resulting in our Surf Monitoring Study. Since beach nourishment is going to be part of our future, due to the fact that most of the natural supplies of sand have been cut off, we are advocating that project proponents model and monitor impacts to surfing resources and that they mimic nature in the amount of sand that will be placed. Hopefully with each iteration, the responsible agencies will learn and improve, thus reducing the negative impacts.

Comments on this project are due Feb 26th, for more information click here.

Click here for comments submitted on the previous version of this project.