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Shoreline Management

2001 Regional Beach Sand Project

The San Diego region is facing a critical choice about its coast. Will the future include a wall of concrete and steel at the ocean's edge, or will we continue to enjoy the priceless environmental, economic, and quality of life gifts our beaches provide?

The region's coast is steadily eroding. Historically, sand has flowed down watercourses to create our beaches. Over the past century, the development of the region's coastal plain has drastically reduced the supply of sand our beaches receive.

The solution is beach replenishment - dredging clean beach quality sand from offshore deposits and pumping it onto the shoreline. This is a much better, and less expensive, alternative to building seawalls, although hard protective structures probably will be necessary in some places.

The beach sand project received funding from Congress through the U.S. Navy, and from the state legislature through the California Department of Boating and Waterways. The project was made possible through the work of local elected officials from the region's 18 cities and county, and legislative representatives in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento.

Two million cubic yards of clean, beach quality sand were pumped onto 12 badly eroded local beaches in 2001. SANDAG conducted a monitoring program to find out how the sand moved from the initial 12 beaches and spreads out along the region's entire 60-mile coastline.

Beach profile data, collected along the coastline of San Diego County during the period of 2011 through 2012 is available via a ZIP file. The files can be opened using any text editor. Each of the ASCII formatted data files contains a header section that identifies the source and nature of the data set. The data is supported by additional information files. Beach profile data information from 1996 to present can be found at the Regional Shoreline Monitoring Program page.

The survey control network for all of the transects in the Monitoring Program was updated in April 2013. The revised control information was used to process the fall 2012 data, and all of the beach profile data from the fall 2011 and spring 2012 surveys were re-processed using the updated control information. The latter two data sets were revised because they mark the start of the monitoring for 2012 RBSP. In the case of the transects located in the Mission Beach Cell, where the vertical discrepancies were greatest, all of the topographic data from spring 2000 (the start of the 2001 RBSP monitoring) to Spring 2011 were revised using the updated vertical control. As such, these data sets for the spring 2000 through spring 2012 surveys supersede those provided previously.

Shoreline positions, beach widths and beach volumes were recomputed based on the adjusted profiles. In the case of shorezone volumes, the statistical range of closure (which defines the offshore boundary of the volume calculation) was recomputed in 2012 to incorporate the beach profile data that has been accumulated since the inception of the 2001 RBSP. In consequence, many of the values for these parameters appearing in the 2012 Annual Report and associated appendices differ from those in prior reports, and supersede the previously-reported values.

SANDAG also completed a Post-Construction Monitoring Report which details how sensitive marine resources were affected by the beach sand replenishment project.

The Regional Beach Sand Project is the first step toward restoring the region's sandy coastline. SANDAG is working on a program to pay for and carry out additional beach replenishment projects to continue this important effort.

Year 1 Monitoring Results

2001 Post-Construction Monitoring Report for Intertidal, Shallow Subtidal, and Kelp Forest Resources

2001 Regional Beach Monitoring Program Annual Report & Appendices

Year 2 Monitoring Results

2002 Post-Construction Monitoring Report for Intertidal, Shallow Subtidal, and Kelp Forest Resources

2002 Regional Beach Monitoring Program Annual Report & Appendices

Year 3 Monitoring Results

2003 Post-Construction Monitoring Report for Intertidal, Shallow Subtidal, and Kelp Forest Resources

2003 Regional Beach Monitoring Program Annual Report & Appendices

Year 4 Monitoring Results

2004 Post-Construction Monitoring Report for Intertidal, Shallow Subtidal, and Kelp Forest Resources and Comprehensive Analysis Report (2001-2005)

2004 Regional Beach Monitoring Annual Report & Appendices