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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Commander Engages with San Clemente Mayor on Beach Nourishment Project

SAN CLEMENTE— On Feb. 9, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District commander, Col. Andrew Baker, met with San Clemente Mayor Victor Cabral regarding the progress of the San Clemente Beach Nourishment project. The two leaders surveyed the project site near the San Clemente Pier, engaging in discussions of the project’s trajectory and addressing pertinent concerns raised by the city. Accompanying them were L.A. District Project Manager Doland Cheung and San Clemente Coastal Administrator Leslea Meyerhoff.

 

Central to the discourse were various alternative plans proposed by the Corps for the project, including the exploration of alternative borrow sites to procure sand for San Clemente. There were also discussions on leveraging existing authorities and partnerships with local, state and federal entities to potentially expedite the permitting process required for utilizing alternate borrow sites. However, due to the substantial planning required for the development and execution of these plans, it was decided that the submerged pipeline would be temporarily removed from San Clemente the following week, with plans for reinstallation at a later date.

Baker underscored the Corps’ commitment to addressing the city’s concerns and reiterated taking a collaborative approach with partners to devise effective solutions. He emphasized a shared objective among stakeholders: ensuring the successful completion of the project while meeting community needs.

 

The project, initiated by the Corps’ contractor, Manson Construction, commenced dredging operations on Dec. 15 with the aim of providing 50 feet of beach fill along a 3,412-foot shoreline stretch. This endeavor seeks to mitigate storm damage along the coast. However, the project faced early challenges attributed to adverse weather conditions, sea swells and logistical issues at the borrow site, where beach-quality sand was unavailable, leading to the retrieval of gravel and cobblestone instead.

 

In response to these challenges, the contractor relocated operations from San Clemente to Solana Beach in January, allowing for continued productivity on both projects. Meanwhile, collaborative efforts continue among local, state and federal stakeholders to chart next steps for San Clemente.

 

Highlighting the significance of the project to the community and region, Cabral reiterated the commitment to collaborative efforts and expressed gratitude for the continued support from state and federal partners.

 

Additionally, U.S. Rep. Mike Levin, of California’s 49th Congressional District, emphasized his involvement in facilitating progress on the project, stressing its critical importance for the region’s residents, economy and infrastructure.

 

The San Clemente Shoreline Beach Nourishment Project aims to mitigate coastal storm damage by utilizing 251,000 cubic yards of compatible sediment. Additionally, the project stipulates re-nourishments every six years on average over a 50-year period, totaling eight additional nourishments, with the last requiring 84,000 cubic yards of sand.

Following the execution of a project partnership agreement between the Corps and the city of San Clemente in February 2023, the project commenced with the objective of safeguarding coastal properties, recreational beach facilities and the nearby rail corridor from storm-induced damage.

 

For further information on the project, visit www.san-clemente.org/beachsand.

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