News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

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Encinitas, Solana Beach mark completion of sand project

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Col. Andrew Baker (far left), Solana Beach Mayor Lesa Heebner, U.S. Rep Mike Levin (D-49th District) and Encinitas Mayor Tony Kranz (far right) meet in Encinitas on May 13 to mark the completion a nearly $50 million sand replenishment project. (Courtesy photo)

Local and regional officials marked the completion of a coastal project Monday, May 13, that brought new sand to local beaches in Encinitas and Solana Beach.

The replenishment project, managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, started with the placement of 700,000 cubic yards of pumped sand along 7,200 feet of beach in Solana Beach and finished with 340,000 cubic yards along 7,800 feet of beach in Encinitas.

The goal of the nearly $50 million project is to mitigate storm damage, prevent erosion, improve safety and expand recreation. The funding came from a mix of local, state and federal money.

The Solana Beach portion of the project, which stretched between the Tide Park stairs and the southern city limits, was completed toward the beginning of March. From there, it moved to Encinitas, where Moonlight Beach was among the areas replenished.

“As Mayor of Encinitas, I am immensely proud of our city’s stunning beaches, which truly embody the essence of our community,” Encinitas Mayor Tony Kranz said in a news release. “This transformative project not only underscores our dedication to preserving Encinitas’ coastal identity but also reinforces our commitment to safeguarding our invaluable city assets. I can’t wait to see our residents and visitors enjoy the newly replenished beaches this summer and beyond.”

The Army Corps of Engineers awarded the replenishment contract to Manson Construction in summer 2023. When the Oceanside Pier fire occurred in April, Manson sent its ship north to help aid the firefighting effort.

U.S. Rep. Mike Levin (D-49th District) worked to secure $30.5 million in federal funding for the project. On Monday, Levin said he was pleased to see the effort’s success.

“Throughout my time in Congress, I’ve fought for federal funding for projects like this one, which will not only provide benefits to residents but also mitigate the impacts of climate change and coastal erosion. It’s a win for our entire district,” Levin said in a news release. “After years of planning and months of hard work, I’m proud to see this project finally complete. Like so many in North County, I’m excited to enjoy these new, wider beaches this summer.”

Solana Beach Mayor Lesa Heebner said the project was historic for her city.

“This is one of the most significant infrastructure projects in our City’s history, and a testament to the benefit of local, state and federal partnerships,” Heebner said in a news release. “Because of Congressman Levin’s effective advocacy for this project, not only are our beaches wider for increased recreational use and able to host more visitors, but they are safer and more resilient.”

Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District Commander Col. Andrew Baker noted the success of the partnership to bring sand back to the local beaches.

“The work here at Encinitas and Solana Beach solidifies the successful signing of a project partnership agreement last year for shoreline protection for both cities,” Baker said. “It is an honor to see this project come to fruition. We could not have gotten to where we are today without all of our partners — those who continue to advocate for and support these projects, and those who continue to make the safety and well-being of these communities and their people their priority.”

In addition to the funding that Levin worked to secure for sand replenishment, his office noted that he worked to get $1.8 million in federal funds for the Oceanside Special Shoreline Study, with the goal of developing a shoreline erosion mitigation plan.

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