Friday, February 23, 2007

Sand, Kelp, Beacons Winter 2007

click images for large view

This photo and captions should help clarify to non-surfers why I feel we don't need a the full 1.2 million cubic yards of sand the Army Corps of Engineers wants to dump on the beaches. The California Department of Fish and Game and the National Marine Fisheries Service wants half that much, a much more sensible amount.

The surf spot in front of this seawall, known commonly as North Reef, does not break good until these rocks are showing. These rocks only became visible this winter. That means North Reef has not been good for 5 years.

I realize that many people want no visible rocks on the beach but that is just silly.

Don't bury our recovering kelp beds under sand!


  1. Right on, JP.

    And when you are picturing the amount of sand that the Army Corps of Engineers wants to put on our beaches, south to Solana beach, remember, there are nine cubic feet in a cubic yard.

    So, 1.2 million cubic yards of sand is 10.8 million cubic feet, or nearly 11 million cubic feet of sand, too much!

    Cutting that in half would still mean 5.4 million cubic feet. That's more than enough this year. Personally, I think we should wait until next year to begin replenishment, again.

  2. We have had mild winters storms lately. If that were not the case the sand would be totally different.

    Is it a good idea to spend a ton of money to bring in poor surf sand only to watch it get blown out a year later?

  3. What is all the talk about bringing in sand this year?

    It takes years to find funding for sand and get a contractor underway. If we start looking at it now, it would be at least 3 years before we ever get sand. I bet there will not be much sand on the beach in another 3 or 4 years.

  4. I disagree with the last comment. Right now, we have the TOT taxes in place to fund sand. These are the temporary occupancy taxes charged to hotels and motels, who want tourists to be able to enjoy wide sandy beaches. It does not, or should not take three years to get more sand.

    This reminds me of a high pressure salesman saying, ACT NOW, or you'll lose your chance. It seems to be pure speculation that if we don't get sand this year, we would have to wait two or three more years.

    Also, we have always had narrow beaches, particularly at some points. People who drove from Ponto to Solana Beach could always only do so during low tide. The same is true today.

  5. JP, why don't you take some photos of the beach north of Beacon's? There are a fair amount of cobblestones showing between Beacon's and Grandview.

    My estimate of sand loss since the last project is about 4 to 6 feet of sand has been lost from the beach. If that trend continues, we will definately need to import more sand, if we want sandy beaches.

    Also, I notice that lots of people seem to have an opinion about how much sand we need, but I have no clue whether we need one half of the proposed amount or the whole amount or ?. Does someone have a good rule of thumb on that issue?

  6. One thing, tourists and families are not going to the beach so much between Grandview and Beacons, because there is not public beach access there . . .

    The narrowest points on the beaches, as far as I've experienced, is, going north, the part between Stonesteps and Beacons where the huge, tall seawalls were built, like monoliths. Going south, a narrow point is that outcropping of rock, and cliff, just before the SRF. As long as I've been walking the beaches, one could only walk around these points at a reasonably low tide.

    I think what JP is saying is that we really don't need more sand this year, but if we HAVE to have it, half as much, around 5 million cubic feet, as recommended by the scientists and experts with the Fish and Games, and the Marine Fisheries, would be plenty.

    Save the Kelp!

  7. Save the Kelp, Save the Waves and save your sand for a box. Then go play in it.

    I don't have the economic studies to prove it, but I'm betting surfers are the largest users of North County beaches. If all the breaks suck due to too much sand on them, they'll go find better places to surf and Encinitas businesses will loose the revenue they generate buying donuts, gas, fins, wax, burritos, staying in hotels, drinking coffee, and on and on.

  8. sand should never be dumped in this area, and if the natural rise of cobble stones hurts some dork's feet, good. the kelp out there is growing back now for the first time in who knows how long, finally making it glassy. bluff erosion can be slowed with some natural landscaping on the face, and if anything more cobble stones should be dumped!


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