City pumps up $600,000 for sand on beaches

OCEANSIDE — The City Council unanimously, and a bit begrudgingly, approved spending $600,000 to have 60,000 additional cubic yards of sand dredged from the harbor and put on Oceanside Pier beach.

The city has an annual agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers to dredge the mouth of the harbor and remove excess sand that accumulates due to Camp Pendleton’s manmade changes to the coastline. The sand is then placed on city beaches for replenishment.

This year the Army Corps of Engineers determined there is 240,800 cubic yards of sand to dredge out of the entrance of the harbor. Federal funding and authorization limits the amount of sand the Army Corps of Engineers can contractually dredge to 180,000 cubic yards.

The City Council voted to move forward and contract Mason Construction, the same company that is contracted by the Army Corps of Engineers, to dredge the remaining 60,000 cubic yards of sand and put it on the beach just south of the pier.

The need to spend money to do the job, which is the responsibility of the Army Corps of Engineers, left most council members disgruntled.

Serendipitously, council earmarked $650,000 to be used for sand replenishment from another sand removal project, in which the quality and quantity of sand did not make replenishment viable.

“The initial studies showed the sand was adequate,” Peter Weiss, assistant city manager, said. “Follow up studies showed it was not allowed to put all material on the beach.”

Earmarked funds will go towards moving the additional harbor sand, and in turn replenish more beachfront.

Since the city is taking on an independent contract with Mason Construction the city must also secure a permit to put the sand on the beach.

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