Above: The living shoreline was a partnership between the Department of Parks & Recreation, the City of Encinitas, the California State Coastal Conservancy, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy.
ENCINITAS — The city of Encinitas joined with key agency partners to celebrate the completion of a major shoreline project in the Cardiff State Beach area May 22 at the Restaurant Row’s south parking lot.
The shoreline between Restaurant Row and South Cardiff State Beach now holds a half-mile of native coastal sand dune habitat and a nearly complete pedestrian pathway.
Headed by the city of Encinitas, California State Parks, the State Coastal Conservancy and the Nature Collective, the Cardiff State Beach Living Shoreline project was constructed in winter of 2018 and completed spring 2019.
The goal was a combined support of state and local partners focusing on the protection of Highway 101 and limiting coastal flooding potential, while enhancing wildlife habitat for sensitive and special-status plant and animal species.
The Cardiff State Beach Living Shoreline project started in October 2018 using excavated sands from the San Elijo Lagoon inlet and existing riprap, or large granite rocks.
Construction progressed in three phases, each one-third of the project length, with sands for the last phase brought over by the April 2019 inlet excavation.
Riprap was first laid on the foundation, followed by the infill of the riprap with sand and the placement of extracted cobbles at the toe of the constructed dune slope.
Hummocks, or mounds, were then finely contoured using San Elijo Lagoon inlet excavated sand.
Dune construction was finalized with the planting of native dune species, such as beach primrose and red-sand verbena, and the installation of beach access fencing, which delineates public access paths through the dune systems and helps protect the dunes from erosion.