Annual project brings more sand to beaches

OCEANSIDE — The annual dredging and sand replenishing project that pumps sand out of Oceanside Harbor and onto Oceanside’s beaches was in its last day of full operation April 18, as sand spewed onto the beach at the foot of Oceanside Pier.
By April 19, the monthlong project was completed, 268,000 cubic yards of sand had been displaced, dredging equipment was packed up, and beaches were ready to use.
The $2.8 million dredging project, which is overseen by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and financed through government funds, brought sand in the harbor down to 22 feet.
“Historically it is done around this time every year,” Frank Quan, coordinator for the Department of Harbor and Beaches, said. “In the winter the dredge can’t handle the stormy seas.”
This year the sand was added to Oceanside’s northern beaches because the overall lack of sand did not allow the 500 feet of pipe that carries the sand to be laid down further south.
“The sand level is lower than any of us has seen it,” Quan said. “There has to be some beach there for pipe to be put on it.”
San Diego County beaches have been gradually losing more sand each year. The loss of sand means less recreational space on
the beach and a smaller buffer between homes and the ocean.
SANDAG conducts an annual regional sand-replenishing project that cities can buy into, but this year Oceanside may not be able to pay the $700,000 to replenish more sand due to budget shortfalls, Quan said.
See video from the sand dredging at www.coastnewsgroup.com.

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