Sand Replenishment Survey Results & Your Questions Answered

Photo from “Lagoon Connections”

Last month we asked our readers this survey question: “Do you support beach sand restoration?” The results were an overwhelming “Yes” with 93% in favor. We also received several of comments and questions which we forwarded to the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy. Here are some of them with responses directly from the SELC:

#1. From Sheri: “A worker in the lagoon told me that they have dug a big hole in the cleaner lagoon sand, and it’s that sand that is being redistributed to beach areas. The non-clean muck from the lagoon will ginto that hole and get covered up.”
The Ross Island Dredge #10 is pumping beach quality native sands located below the top layers of silts, clays, and muds from San Elijo Lagoon’s Central Basin to Cardiff State Beach and Fletcher Cove Beach.  This beach replenishment is part of Phase I of the San Elijo Lagoon restoration project, Reviving Your Wetlands, where sand is coming out on the beach to nourish the stretch of beach from Cardiff Reef down to Seaside and Fletcher Cove. Learn more here.

#2. From Chris: “I know of 3 different surfers that have come down with either eye infections or stomach cramping after surfing near the redistributed sand. Did others report illnesses? And, can we improve the warning signs about water quality.”
If you are curious about current water quality along the 70-mile San Diego coastline, including the beach within the area we are placing sand, visit the County of San Diego Department of Environmental Health’s Beach and Bay Water Quality site (and download the App). Click here to visit 24/7 updated water quality readings. This program monitors bacteria levels and provides advisories and closures as needed, protecting the public health of millions of residents and visitors each year through beach water testing, public education, outreach, and beach postings. Learn more here.

#3. From Jill E.: “Does dredging the lagoon upset the wildlife?” Restoration will not overwhelm existing habitat, so birds and animals will have the ability to nest and live where they feel safe. Studies indicate that sufficient alternate habitat is available for species to move within the lagoon basins or temporarily to other lagoons, if needed. This will be a short-term disruption, and long-term, the wetlands are expected to revive and thrive.  Learn more here.
Also, Environmental Sensitive Area (ESA) fencing ensures that lagoon animals can continue to move freely as they need. This fencing also secures the project’s perimeters, keeping construction in its work site, and providing for your safety on the trails. Learn more here.

#4. From Mike: “Is the project really the restoration of San Elijo Lagoon? It seems likely that the excess sand is due to the widening of the 5 freeway. I like the idea of replenishing the sand with excess material from the freeway and rail projects, but it hardly can be considered ‘restoring’ the lagoon.
Creating an overdredge pit in the lagoon’s Central basin by removing beach quality sand from the pit and transporting the sand via a series of pipes to Cardiff State Beach and Fletcher Cove is part of Phase I of the restoration project. Learn more here.

#5. From Jill S.: “How long does it take the bacteria in the dredged sand to dissipate?”
There have been no bacterial findings during sand placement.

#6. A comment from Tom: “We need the jetties and bridge communications with the lagoon water and the tidal flow that helps nourish the lagoons also accumulates sand. Our drought climate doesn’t provide enough low tide current force to return the sand because the extra flow from rainwater draining just doesn’t exist. I love the people of Cardiff and I love to see them happy and it seems we’re all happy at the beach. The rocks are painful to walk on, and hard to set up a chair or umbrella in, please dredge the sand, we absolutely love our beaches, our surf, and our happy, vibrant community.”
No question. Here is a link to the City of Encinitas Climate Action Plan and the Climate Adaptation and Shoreline Management Program,   Climate Adaptation: As a coastal community, it is of particular importance to understand the potential impacts of climate change. Sea level rise, in combination with stronger storms, could cause significant coastal erosion and damage to our beaches, bluffs and coastal infrastructure. The City’s Shoreline Management Program focuses on the protection and enhancement of the City’s coastline and will adapt to address the effects of climate change.