In a seaside press conference this morning, July 17, the Conservancy and our agency partners celebrated a prestigious West Coast beach restoration award.
As the tide was rising at Cardiff State Beach this morning, beachgoers walked behind our gathering press conference, like any usual day here in North County, yet this was a special morning.
Cardiff State Beach is one of five beaches, and the only on the West Coast, awarded the nation’s Best Restored Beaches by the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA).
Local elected officials and representatives with San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy, SANDAG, Caltrans, the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association, and California State Parks gathered early this morning to celebrate both the completion of beach sand replenishment work on Cardiff State Beach in Encinitas and Fletcher Cove in Solana Beach, and this prestigious, nationally recognized award that our Reviving Your Wetlands lagoon restoration team received for beach preservation.
Above (L-R): Terry Sinnot, SANDAG Board Chair and Del Mar City Council member; David Zito, City of Solana Beach Mayor; Doug Gibson, Executive Director/Principal Scientist, San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy; Kim Garvey, American Shore & Beach Preservation Association, California Chapter; Allan Kosup, Caltrans District 11, North Coast Corridor Director; Catherine Blakespear, City of Encinitas Mayor; Darren Smith, California State Parks San Diego Coast District Services Manager
“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, Conservancy Executive Director and Principal Scientist. “The beach is now wider and consists of beach-quality material.”
The City of Encinitas Mayor, Catherine Blakespear, added: “Going to the beach is a way of life for our residents. The additional beach sand is a huge improvement to our quality of life. Our community values the efforts to preserve our beaches and native habitats for future generations.”
What does it mean to be a Best Restored Beach? Our beach replenishment project was chosen for our collaborative abilities to creatively address complex coastal issues with sustainable solutions, and especially to the unknowns of nature. Using locally sourced sands is compatible with the surrounding environment.
The American Shore & Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) released its annual “Best Restored Beaches” list before the start of summer. Cardiff State Beach, California joined awardees: Dare County Beaches, North Carolina; Galveston Seawall Beach, Texas; Sagaponack-Bridgehampton Beaches, New York; and Thompsons Beach, New Jersey.
ASPBA California Chapter representative Kim Garvey, shared: “ASBPA is a strong advocate for beach nourishment for four primary reasons: recreation, the ecological benefits that beach nourishment provides, as well as coastal storm protection and economic advantages.”
Above: Doug Gibson/Conservancy and Kim Garvey/ASBPA at Cardiff State Beach
While unable to attend the festivities, ASBPA president Tony Pratt remarked, “Our time at the beach is often the happiest times of our lives. We take that love of the coast very seriously. We honor the efforts that go into managing and, when necessary, rebuilding the beaches that are in the hearts of so many vacationers.”
Our San Elijo Lagoon, through carefully planned and efficient tidal dredging, provided beach quality sands for both the awarded Cardiff State Beach nourishment project (see photos of process) and at Fletcher Cove (see photos) this past Spring.
How much sand? Beach sand replenishment work began in February. Construction crews pumped nearly 440,000-cubic yards of sand onto these designated North County beaches from the Central basin of San Elijo Lagoon. Imagine the sand equivalent is like filling 133 Olympic-size swimming pools, or 73 million beach pails!
Crews completed the replenishment work at Cardiff State Beach in April, with 270,000-cubic yards of sand on the beach, and 140,000-cubic yards of sand was then pumped onto Fletcher Cove. An additional 30,000-cubic yards of sand was placed at Cardiff State Beach before the official start to summer.
San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy, Caltrans, and SANDAG oversaw these beach replenishment projects, part of the ongoing $118-million effort to restore tidal circulation and habitat biodiversity at San Elijo Lagoon, and with the addition of new trail connections at the completion of the project.
Next time you’re at the beach, any beach, notice the sands underfoot. Not every beach can sustain its own sands. That’s how we helped this past spring.
Here’s to the rest of your summer on wider, sandier and now “Best Restored” here on the West Coast of the United States. Thank you for following Lagoon Connections.