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Shoreline Management

Regional Shoreline Monitoring Program

In 1996, SANDAG initiated the Regional Shoreline Monitoring Program, which measures the changes in beach width over time, documents the benefits of sand replenishment projects, and helps to improve the design and effectiveness of beach fills.

This comprehensive approach to monitoring the shoreline provides data that can document changes to the shoreline over time and provides important information to decision-makers when beach replenishment efforts are contemplated. The results of the Monitoring Program have provided useful data to a variety of resource agencies and organizations in the San Diego region and across the county.

Specifically, the Monitoring Program provided valuable data for the design of the 2001 and 2012 Regional Beach Sand Projects (RBSP) and helped guide the selection of candidate beach sites. Although the monitoring requirements imposed as permit conditions of the 2001 RBSP ended, in 2006 SANDAG continued a modified monitoring program and utilized the valuable lessons learned in planning for the development of the 2012 RBSP. The monitoring program was modified again to add on permit conditions required for the 2012 RBSP. However, the additional shoreline and biological monitoring are funded separately from the 2012 RBSP budget.

Beach profile data, collected along the coastline of San Diego County during the period of 1996 through 2020 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.

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. 

Yearly Monitoring Reports

2020 Regional Beach Monitoring Program Annual Report and Appendices

2001-2019 Regional Beach Monitoring Program Annual Reports and Appendices

Project Manager

Courtney Pesce, Regional Planner II
Phone: (619) 699-6942, Email:

For media inquiries, please contact the SANDAG Public Information Office at (619) 699-1950 or