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Sand retention project in Oceanside draws global design experts

The city of Oceanside is enlisting the help of global experts to come up with innovative solutions to replenish and preserve Oceanside beaches.

Design firms from across the world were invited to apply to participate in RE:BEACH, a Coastal Resilience Competition bringing together design teams from around the world to develop innovative sand retention pilot projects for the city of Oceanside.

"What we need is to retain sand better," said Jayme Timberlake, the coastal zone administrator with the city of Oceanside. "We need to be able to place sand and then retain it. What we don't want to do is take the sand from offshore, place it on our beaches, and see it gone within one storm."


A jury and advisory committee made up of local, state, and national experts weighed in on the proposals.

The international call to action got the attention of dozens of different firms that formed three teams.

The teams selected are SCAPE, a New York City-based landscape architecture and urban design firm that said it aims to use this project to bolster the transformative potential of natural spaces.

Deltares with Deltares USA, and MVRDV, a nonprofit Dutch firm which boasts a robust knowledge of major societal issues and said it realizes the urgency behind finding equitable, sustainable solutions.

And International Coastal Management, an Australia-based firm that aims to meet the objectives of the project, while also acknowledging the unique opportunities and challenges of Oceanside’s coastal environment.


"We cannot wait to see what the design competition will yield and what these international design firms will give us from their own backgrounds and from their own experience," Timberlake said.

Only one team, and their winning design, will be selected to move into final engineering and permitting at the completion of the competition.

Timberlake said finding a solution is urgent to keep up with erosion, protect coastal development and preserve public access to sandy beaches.

For now Oceanside is continuing its annual dredging project, but that isn't a complete solution.

Pipes move sand from the harbor onto the beach but they don't reach beaches south of the pier.

"That sand does not move down into South Oceanside and nourish their beaches. It ends up either moving North or moving offshore," she said. "So the sand nourishment is going to continue. We're going to need to keep doing the harbor dredging and finding offshore sand."

The design competition will benefit those beaches directly.

The contract for the design project is $2.6 million being allocated from American Rescue Plan Act funds. Funding for the construction of the design has yet to be determined.

A series of three public workshops will be held for community feedback and design input. The first workshop will be Aug. 29 in council chambers.

A final design is expected to be presented to city council for approval by early next year.

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