Thursday, February 22, 2007

Winter 2007--Most Sand Ever?

click photos for large view

Check out this photo of Swami's taken last night right after sunset. I don't recall ever seeing this much sand at Swami's in February. Usually all those reefs are exposed. Now you can walk on sand all the way around the point.

To recap, the Army Corps of Engineers want to dump 1.2 million cubic yards of sand from Encinitas to Solana Beach. The California Department of Fish and Game and the National Marine Fisheries Service wants half that much, a much more sensible amount. I personally believe we could skip sand replenishment in 2007.

Remember, it was the Army Corps of Engineers who blundered and ruined one of our best beaches, Seaside (see photos below) They are trying to fix their tragic botch job but I'm skeptical they won't just make it even worse. Read the Coast News column by Chris Ahrens Why Make Beaches Into Parking Lots?

The Sand replenishment pundits are saying that the beaches are covered with cobble stones and that cobble beaches cause bluff erosion, but the only significant amount of cobbles I could find are near Seaside Beach, the beach with no bluffs. The beach where the Army Corps of Engineers mucked around. Even here there is some sand.

This zone of beach with cobbles is still walkable. There is no parking here along the coast highway so this stretch of beach is mostly deserted. The cobbles are mixed with the rip rap boulders that hold up the coast highway. This beach will most likely replenish itself via the soon coming south swells.

There is much more sand at George's Beach and in front of the restaurants towards Cardiff Reef. The rivermouth at Cardiff is now open and flowing and has built up a huge sandbar in front of the Cardiff parking lot.

Why are we being told that there is no sand on our beaches? Could it be to promote a new tax? Click the link below:

Leucadia!: More holes in head, "Quality-of-life tax" proposed.

Previous related post: Leucadia!: Moonlight Beach Sand Check


  1. I too had forgotten about the sand tax. Now it's perfectly clear. The usual suspects are again trying to sneak in a tax increase to fund their agendas. It's not about sand, clean water, or even lights. It's a way to free up money in the general fund for special interests and fool the public that we are funding a public need that is already being paid out of the general fund. Sound familiar? Remember Prop. C.

    The poster on the thread below who spoke about the north Pacific oscillation seems well informed. I just did a Google search on this. The Wikipedia link has a table with dates that confirm what was posted about the oscillating "cool" (dry) and "warm" (wet) periods. We are now a cool period.

  2. I have a lot of up to date photos of all our beaches that I will post soon.

    I will photograph the beaches before and after the storm that is coming this weekend.

  3. These images remind us why we love Encinitas. Let's no screw it up any more than we need too.

  4. 500,000 cubic yards of sand as suggested by the Marine Fisheries is a decent compromise. It's funny how this large amount of sand is spun into being "sandless" or no sand by the North County Times.

  5. 500,000 cubic yards is 4.5 million cubic feet of sand. That is more than enough, really.

    I agree with JP; we don't need any more sand this year.

    The people using the beaches, walking, jogging or surfing, know that there is plenty of sand this year.

    Sometimes when sand is dumped, it actually makes it more difficult to walk or run, because the sand is piled so high, for awhile. As JP shows, this has been good year, with little sand loss due to storms.

  6. From the NCT today on the Encinitas city council majority decision last night: City OK's increased building heights.

    Council vote: Council members Houlihan, Bond, Dalager, and Stocks voted yes to exempt the San Dieguito Academy from the city's General Plan maximum building height of 30 feet. Some buildings will go to 40 feet high, rest of buildings can go to 34 feet high. Council member Barth voted no on the increased building heights.

  7. Strange things are afoot. Down at the Shores/Scripps area we're having the exact opposite probelm... I've never seen so little sand! The sea wall foundation pilings are exposed in some areas and the Scripps Boat ramp just drops off to exposed rock.

  8. Sorry to hear about the building height increases. I am surprised Maggie voted with the the others.

    I'll bet the neighbors around San Dieguito Academy are not too pleased. When they talked about increasing the height of the performing arts center, Bob Bonde and Donna Westbrook, as I remember, said it would lead to more height increases. They were correct, it appears . . .

  9. We have had a lot of sand replenishment the past few years. I agree we could skip this year, put some more on the beaches, here, next year. Because some is good, doesn't mean a whole lot is better. Delay the sand, and when it does come, consider cutting the amount in half.

    There's a reason scientists, marine biologists, say less is more. They want to maintain the fish and marine life which are attracted to the kelp, and which need some tidepools, too.

    We don't need sterile, man-made beaches, but we could choose to keep the depleting effects of mankind down to a minimum by replacing some sand that has been lost to over-development.

  10. The state owns the beach, not the city of Encinitas, but a large amount of city taxpayers dollars have gone to rebuilding the moonlight beach area.

  11. What the HELL!!!?

    Have we all forgotten about the $40 million dollar regional park that is to be paid for by Encinitas tax payers and is in the EIR review period?

    Does anyone have an opinion on if the benefits are worth the costs to the average Encinitas Citizen?

    Lets see $40 million divided by 58k citizens equates to $689 per resident PLUS Operational costs in perpetuity (with the fat government workers staff growing along with the never ending pensions).

    The sand issue is speck compared to this Boulder that will sink us. Any comments?

  12. We should have a real community park, not a regional sports complex.

    A more passive use park would appeal to young and old, a wider spectrum of citizens.

    We don't need or want lights. This should be a daytime facility, only. We would like to daylight the creek, make more trails. A few fields are fine, but we don't need an ampi-theater or a teen center. The pool sponsor dropped out. Cut the costs. A grading plan needs to be provided before the E.I.R. can be correctly completed so that we know how much soil will be moved or disturbed.

    We'd like the original Robert Hall House to be maintained by the historical society, as they offered to do.

  13. The sheriffs dont want the teen center there.

    The hall adobe would cost millions to retrofit to bring it up to earthquake standards and the structure is not of traditional adobe construction. It is probably not saveable.

  14. The ex-sheriff deputy Christy Guerin wanted the teen center at the Hall property.

  15. Christy Guerin is the only one who wanted the multi-million dollar teen center. Teens want a skate park.

    As for the old Hall residence the only thing worth saving is old sycamore tree, and some of the plants in the front garden.

  16. The Historical Society offered to take on the old Robert Hall House. The Sycamore Tree should be saved, too, of course.

    That house stood for years. I don't think that it has been determined by anyone that it would have to be retrofitted for earthquakes. We are not on a major fault line, here. The closest faults are out in the ocean. The biggest concern would be a tidal wave caused by earthquakes originating elsewhere.

    However, people would be willing to compromise on this. The Historical Society had offered to take on the maintenance and repair costs. Many structures in our city are considered "legal non-conforming." Earthquake retrofitting is more for bridges and structures that have heavy traffic going over them, or multi-story buildings.

    Has anyone checked out the Great Wall of Encinitas that is part of the structure of our new library. That wall is HUGE!

  17. Actually i spent a day examining the hall property. As a city structure you are going to have to bring it up to code. The historical society already has its hands full and its pockets empty. They would like the hall house but would like the city to retrofit and their volunteers to renovate. They want to rent at some token amount per year. The pool is a liability insurance wise.
    I was at the meeting where the historical society spokesperson mentioned the hall property, they are ill equiped to handle the expense of retrofitting or renovating.

  18. JP

    you are to young to remember whne we had lots of sand on our beaches. The days when we could drive a car from del mar to Ponto on the beach. We had plenty of fish and lobster and kelp.

    Why would you not want to return to that type of wide sandy beach? I think you are short sighted in many areas and this is one of them. Sand, surf, sea life and kelp can all co-exist as it did in the past.

    Put as much sand as we can possible get back on the beach.

  19. If you read this blog carefully you will see that I am not against sand replenishment programs. I think the Marine Fisheries request for less sand (half) than the Army Corps of Engineers want is okay.

    The 2001 sand program smothered our local kelp beds and they are just now recovering this winter. I don't want those kelp beds buried again. Sand is great. I'm 37 and remember the big sandy beaches of the early 70's.

    I'm pointing out that we still have a good base of sand (not NO sand like the media reports) so the full amount is not needed.

  20. . . .as it did in the past. I don't think so. I'm 62 and I do remember times when you could drive on sandy beaches from del mar to ponto at some times during the year.
    As I recall it was before kelp harvasting cutters, before long liners, before massive numbers of lobster traps, massive quantities of sewage flowing through the out falls, less drainage reaching the sea because there was less development, less asphalt and concrete channeling toxins into the water, less sand harvasting on the sanluisrey, fewer seawalls to protect fewer homes and smaller footprint homes that did not project almost to the bluffs edge, and the list could go on and on.
    Those days are gone baby and I don't care how much sand you pump up onto the beaches yesturyear is gone along with the lone ranger.

  21. The great wall of Encinitas is behind the Baine/Eberly Surfboard factor. They are off Westlake ( up the hill from the Boxing Club).

    There use to be greenhouses and a BMX track where the wall is now. The kids called the track "toxic trails" because of the surfboard fumes. Now there are houses right on top of the surfboard factory. REALLY, right on top. It is the ugliest and stupidist thing in encinitas. JP should post a picture.

    This is bad news for Encinitas commerce because those people living in those new houses, that were engineered into God awful terrain using the Great Wall approach, are going to end up complaining the factory to death. I hope the Chamber of Commerce will help them out.

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