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Beach Face Lift To Begin Next Month

San Diego beaches will get a face-lift next month as millions of tons of sand are pumped from the ocean floor onto beaches from the South Bay to North County.

Aired 8/27/12 on KPBS News.

San Diego beaches will get a face-lift next month as millions of tons of sand are pumped from the ocean floor onto beaches from the South Bay to North County.

Children on a Carlsbad beach.
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Above: Children on a Carlsbad beach.

It’s a $28 million project and it’ll spread more than a million cubic yards of sand on eight San Diego beaches. Project manager Shelby Tucker says it’s worth millions to San Diego’s tourist economy, but it’s not just for the benefit of beach-goers. It’s part of San Diego’s ecosystem.

“It does provide a nice place for people to recreate,” she said. "But also an environmental benefit for grunion, and for nesting and foraging shorebirds plus other species that use the beaches, and then obviously there’s a shore protection benefit as well.”

The last time the San Diego Association of Governments did a sand replenishment project was in 2001. Tucker says though the sand did eventually wash away, it lasted for up to five years.

85 percent of the money comes from a state grant from the Department of Boating and Waterways. Several San Diego coastal cities have contributed the other 15 percent in matching funds.

The dredging boat that will undertake the job is on its way to San Diego and should arrive next weekend. The company has to train crew members who live in San Diego and then officials hope they will be ready to begin work in Imperial Beach the first week of September. They hope the work will be finished in November before winter storms kick in.

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