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Solana Beach and Encinitas launch $32 million beach restoration project

Crowds watch progress on Solana Beach restoration
Posted at 11:23 PM, Jan 21, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-22 02:23:46-05

SOLANA BEACH, Calif. (KGTV) — Crowds gathered at Fletcher Cove Sunday to watch as a large pipe sprayed sand along Solana Beach, with bulldozers spreading it around. This beach restoration project aims to combat years of erosion caused by storms and high tides.

“I think it’s great. It needed to happen," said Eric Richey, an Encinitas resident. "There has not been much beach for the locals or the tourists.”

“This is to protect public safety, but also public infrastructure,” said Mayor Lesa Heebner of Solana Beach.

Both Solana Beach and Encinitas have secured $32 million in federal funding to replenish their shores. “Because of upstream development, we don’t have the normal natural sources of sand to nourish our beaches with more and more sand," she said.

According to Heebner, crews will be working at Solana Beach for the next 45 to 60 days, transporting sand from the San Dieguito Lagoon to cover the entire length of the beach. Then the same replenishment efforts will extend to Encinitas.

Upon completion, the shoreline is expected to double in size, reaching 150 feet, Heebner said.

“I’m going to spend a lot more time here, that’s for sure," Richey said. "There will be a lot more room for people. It was pretty crowded this summer.”

This beach replenishment initiative is part of a broader 50-year project to maintain the coastline. Crews will revisit Solana Beach every ten years and Encinitas every five years.

While the construction at Fletcher Cove draws attention, the active site will be secured with barricades to ensure public safety. The project's next phase is set to progress northward to Cardiff.