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Oceanside Residents Lobby For New Strategy To Save Disappearing Beach And More Local News

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Many Southern California beaches are gradually disappearing, and communities along the coast, like Oceanside, are looking for ways to save the sand. Plus, San Diego congressional representatives have introduced new bills aimed at tackling the issue of Tijuana River pollution, thousands of bikes and scooters have been impounded by the city during Comic-Con and humidity is getting worse in San Diego.

Show transcript

Speaker 1: 00:00 It's Tuesday, July 23rd I'm Deb Welsh and you're listening to San Diego news matters from KPBS coming up. San Diego Congressional representatives have introduced new bills aimed at tackling the issue of tea, water, river pollution and San Diego beaches are slowly but surely shrinking.

Speaker 2: 00:18 We have a beach parking lot with each bathrooms, but yet we don't have the beach

Speaker 1: 00:23 group calls for a new strategy to keep sand on the beach that at war right after the break.

Speaker 3: 00:30 Mm.

Speaker 1: 00:33 Thank you for joining us for San Diego News Matters. I'm Deb Welsh, mini southern California beaches are gradually disappearing and communities on the coast are looking for ways to save their sand in Oceanside. A group of residents wants to build rock roids or jetties to help stabilize the sand and stop it from washing away. KPBS reporter Elyssa, St John says it's a controversial strategy.

Speaker 4: 01:01 [inaudible] south of Oceanside pew parts of the beach have disappeared completely and waves wash up against a rocky wall of riprap that protects houses along this trend. Nick Ricky has lived in Oceanside for a decade and has seen the beach shrink. He speaks for a new group of residents called SOS Save Ocean side Sen.

Speaker 2: 01:19 Currently we're at Wisconsin screen. If you look around, what's Cozy Street? We have lifeguard towers, seven we have a beach parking lot with a beach bathrooms, but yet we don't have beach now, just three years ago at low tide, you'd have some dry sand.

Speaker 4: 01:36 Not Anymore at some high times, there's another problem. The ocean sometimes washes right over this trend. Threatening homes. Every year,

Speaker 5: 01:44 year, the army corps of engineers lays long pipes down the beach and pumps sand dredged from the mouth of Oceanside harbor. The San dredged helps keep the harbor mouth open and adds to the beach, but it does not last. Ricky and his neighbors and I are looking to other beaches like Newport beach for right.

Speaker 2: 02:01 If you've never visited Newport beach, the beaches are wonderful. Surface dynamic. Nope.

Speaker 5: 02:07 Port beach is wide and generous. Vicky says it wasn't always that way. Back in the late 1960s, the ocean was threatening homes along that beach.

Speaker 2: 02:16 So as a result of that, the homeowners are the ones who spurred the city into action to build these Reutens hundred yards long, about eight to 12 feet tall, uh, uh, 12 to 16 feet wide.

Speaker 5: 02:30 The groins are like rocky fingers that run under the beach and out into the ocean. The idea is to stabilize the sand and stop it from washing away. They've been there for 50 years and they appear to be working. But the Newport beach lifeguard say the jury is still out. They say the groins create problem rip currents. Bob Boozer of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in Ohio says, grinds and jetties have another major problem

Speaker 2: 02:55 building groins to retain sand at one, basically prevent sand from getting down drift. So one beaches gain from growings is the next down drift beaches was because they took their singer.

Speaker 4: 03:13 But Rick, he says Oceanside would not be depriving cities to the south of sand if they built rock rinds because the army call would keep replenishing the sin every year.

Speaker 2: 03:22 Our plan is very unique in that we believe that we will backfill those areas where the groins are with sand so that there'd be no stoppage of sand down springs.

Speaker 5: 03:33 He says surfers are in favor of trying grinds because they sometimes improve wave action. [inaudible] acknowledges that surfers, the tourist industry and homeowners would probably support building grinds to stabilize beaches.

Speaker 2: 03:46 Building Groins can be definitely an effective way of stabilizing the beach at some locations. The question is whether it's cost effective, is it worth the money?

Speaker 5: 04:01 [inaudible] says the San Diego Association of governments or SANDAG spent $30 million on beach replenishment in 2012 and much of that sand washed elsewhere. He says beaches can be stabilized sometimes for decades, but not in depth.

Speaker 2: 04:14 We can't stabilize all of the beaches in southern California for the next, let's say hundred years. It's not financially possible. Which ones do we stabilize? Who makes that decision? It's a political decision as well as an economic decision and what it ultimately comes to the coast. The decisions are made by money, power and the blow back from the coastal commission did is the mouth of the people in California.

Speaker 4: 04:48 Rookie says, save ocean side side is getting estimates of what it would cost to build grinds or jetties south of appear and it's in the tens of millions of dollars. He acknowledges this is a challenge facing ensemble of this coastal cities. He says his group may end up cooperating rather than competing for resources to try to keep the sandy beaches that are such a symbol of the southern California lifestyle. I was in St John KPBS News.

Speaker 5: 05:13 San Diego's congressional delegation is pushing for a solution to the region's cross border sewage problem. KPBS environment reporter Eric Anderson says new legislation could funnel more money to both sides of the border.

Speaker 6: 05:27 Brisman Juan Vargas says the region's congressional delegation is trying to fund the infrastructure projects that could go a long way towards stopping the flow of sewage tainted water into the United States. Those cross border flows happen because Tijuana can't capture the runoff and it runs downhill into the u s lawmakers want to funnel money to the North American Development Bank. Barga says that can fund sewage capture projects on either side of the border. We don't have any money. I mean frankly, that's the bottom line and so we're trying to money available

Speaker 7: 05:58 so we can go after these projects. The projects that they were about to get them certified through the EPA nad bank, but there's no money. The plan could generate more than a billion and a half dollars for sewage control projects. It's not clear if it has enough support to pass in the House and Senate. Eric Anderson KPBS news

Speaker 1: 06:15 with comic con in town over the weekend, many visitors chose to speed through the busy streets with electric scooters and bikes. Thousands are now sitting in a city lot near downtown KPV as reporter Matt Hoffman Explains

Speaker 7: 06:29 More than 2,500 birds, limes lifts, skips and jumps were impounded over the weekend. Thanks in part to a new law that restricts where the scooters and bikes can be left. Barbara Lamb with the city of San Diego, says the new ordinance bar scooters and bikes from being parked in certain places like near the convention center where Comicon was held

Speaker 1: 06:46 and they're supposed to be parked in the parking corrals. Uh, during comicon there was so much traffic. The corrals were full, the sidewalks were full of people. We just needed to keep them moving and clear them out so that no one got hurt.

Speaker 7: 07:00 There's also a city code that makes it illegal to leave bikes and scooters on sidewalks. The city says each one cost $65 to get out of impound with 2,500 of them picked up during comicon. That adds up to more than $160,000 in fines. Matt Hoffman, k PBS News

Speaker 1: 07:16 as we head into a week of warm weather forecast or say get ready for high levels of humidity as well. It seems like San Diego has been getting more humid over the years. So we sent KPBS reporter John Carroll to find out if it's true and if so, why?

Speaker 8: 07:32 It's part of the reason so many of us love living here so much beautiful sunny weather, but inject humidity into the picture and the sunny becomes sticky. That's when what meteorologists call the heat index, what some call the real field temperature comes into play, but are we really feeling more humid weather in San Diego over the last several years? Brent Maxwell is a meteorologist at the National Weather Service Office in Rancho Bernardo. He says, you're not imagining it. It has been more humid in San Diego over the last several years, but why?

Speaker 1: 08:07 The reason for that is because we've had much above normal sea surface temperatures along our coast during summer.

Speaker 8: 08:15 A summer monsoon is moving into this week, which will make things even more humid, but is it all a longterm trend? Maxville says there's no way to tell yet. John Carol k PBS news.

Speaker 1: 08:27 Some California counties are losing a portion of their state funding because there are mental health workforces aren't up to snuff. County health department say they need more help hiring more providers, capitol, public radio, Sammy Kay, all reports. The state started enforcing sanctions on 10 California counties this June. It's withholding a total of $12 million a month from these counties until they hire enough counselors and psychiatrists to be compliant. But Michelle Dodi Kibera with the county behavioral Health Directors Association says the requirements aren't realistic given small county budgets and the challenge of recruiting physicians to rural areas.

Speaker 9: 09:04 I wish that we had more of a coordination in partnership with the state on really trying to sort of map out where we know there are significant workforce shortages.

Speaker 1: 09:17 Many counties are appealing the sanctions. The department of Healthcare Services says this is about upholding standards and making sure California has enough providers to meet patient demand. In Sacramento. I'm Sami K Yola. Last week the Trump administration announced a new rule that would bar most asylum seekers arriving at the u s border from being able to declare asylum Monday. Another rule unexpectedly went into effect k PVs reporter Max Rivlin never says it expands a policy known as expedited removal nationwide.

Speaker 10: 09:51 Under the new rule, people living in the u s illegally can now be removed from the country in as little as 24 hours without ever seeing a judge. Expedited removal had only previously been applied to immigrants arrested along the border who had been in the u s for less than 14 days. The new policy extends that time period to two years and makes it nationwide and not just along the border. Immigration Attorney Maria Chavez says this has a lot of asylum seekers worried

Speaker 9: 10:20 and for individuals who can't, who don't have that kind of documentation, that's definitely going to be, it's very scary. People already don't want to leave their homes and are afraid to open their doors.

Speaker 10: 10:29 Normally, most immigrants facing deportation are able to get in front of a judge to fight their removal. The only way to fight an expedited removal now is to pass a credible fear interview or proof presence in the U S for longer than two years. That means immigrants with legal status and even US citizens could be put into proceedings if they're unable to prove that the ACU has pledged, it will challenge the new rule in court. Max of Adler k PBS news.

Speaker 1: 10:57 Thanks for listening to San Diego News matters. If you'd like the show, do us a favor and tell your friends and family to subscribe to the show.

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San Diego News Matters

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.