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Solana Beach Coastal Preservation Association
August 20, 1998
Project No. 1831
Page 35
geologic times. The lack of sand has created a more severe coastal environment than
would normally exist under natural conditions.
In addition to recreational opportunities, sand beaches provide natural protection against
damage from wave action and flooding. The absence of protective sand beaches also
allows the direct impact of breaking waves on coastal bluffs and the accelerated erosion of
the bluff. The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) has formed a Shoreline
Erosion Committee to address coastal erosion in San Diego County, and has concluded
that Athe shoreline is a valuable asset to the environment and economy of the San Diego
region and the state. It is also considered a resource of significant national significance.
The beaches and sea cliffs help define this area=s quality of life; when we think of the
region=s positive image, we most often think of the climate and the shoreline.@ The basic
conclusion of SANDAG=s Shoreline Preservation Strategy is that a beach building and
maintenance program is recommended as the primary shoreline management policy for
control of shoreline erosion (SANDAG, 1993).
Throughout the Oceanside Littoral Cell, average beach widths were surveyed, with results
reported in the SANDAG study for Solana Beach in 1990 as 80 feet [beach width was
defined in the SANDAG study from the MSL contour to the base of the sea cliff]. Future
projected average beach widths for the years 2010 and 2040 were 70 feet and 35 feet,
respectively [as a point of reference, using the SANDAG definition, the current beach width,
measured during our field surveys in mid June 1998, ranged from 0 to 40 feet, with an
average width on the order of 20 feet; somewhat less than the year 2040 prediction. Please
note also that this beach width definition creates a deceptively wide beach, recognizing that
beach widths are typically defined as extending out to MHHW or at times to the landward
edge of the foreshore. The former results in an average current beach width of 0 to 10
feet, and the latter results in no beach].
The SANDAG study then evaluated the required minimum beach width to protect the
coastal bluff, accommodating both seasonal fluctuations and a 100-year storm event. For
the Solana Beach coastline, that width was determined to be 232 feet. The SANDAG study
further concluded that the required volume of beach fill within the Oceanside Littoral Cell
was 25,000,000 cubic yards, with a future annualized renourishment volume of 320,000
cubic yards per year. One of the recommendations contained in the SANDAG Shoreline


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