“Most engineering projects require maintenance,” Guza explains. “This does not mean they are ‘failures.’ Maintenance is part of the program cost: four to seven years is a typical repeat time to maintain a broad beach, depending on the site and Ma Nature’s behavior.
“The number of seawalls protecting public and private property will inevitably grow over the next decades for obvious reasons, including sea-level rise,” continues Guza. “About 35 percent of north San Diego County beaches already have seawalls, and the only way to mitigate the negative impacts of seawalls, namely passive erosion on a retreating shoreline, is sand nourishment.”
So Aceti will continue to lobby for funds, including the 2 percent vacation-rental tax in Encinitas. “I think they [the City of Encinitas] thought it would be a no-brainer,” Aceti says. “Especially since the money would come from other people’s money.”
Encinitas mayor Jerome Stocks agrees that Proposition G was not adequately campaigned, but not because he considered it a slam dunk. “The City of Encinitas is very careful not to use taxpayer resources for political purposes,” he says. “The City placed the question before the voters. Perhaps we could have done more in the way of an educational campaign, but that can become a slippery slope.”
Two weeks after the election results were posted, Aceti went to work. He lobbied the city council and Mayor Stocks to put the measure on November’s ballot, despite the $12,500 expense. Promising to run a real campaign, Aceti told the council that sand on the beaches was vital to Encinitas, not only for tourism but for quality of life.
Mayor Stocks agrees. “The issue will be decided by the voters, but I believe that our beaches are an important component of our local quality of life, our local economy, and that having sand on our beaches is the most effective form of ‘soft armoring,’ which helps reduce the need and demand for seawalls.”
The city council voted 3 to 2, agreeing with Aceti to give the proposition another shot. So far, it has cost the City of Encinitas $25,000, without yielding a single grain of sand.