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Saturday San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) Chair and Encinitas Mayor Jerome Stocks and Second Vice Chair and Imperial Beach Mayor Jim Janney kicked off the start of a $28.5 million project to dredge 1.4 million cubic yards of sand to restore the eroded beaches of Imperial Beach, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Carlsbad, and Oceanside. “People from around the world come to San Diego County to enjoy our world-class surf and beaches, so its important that we restore eroded beaches by periodically replenishing them with additional sand,” said Mayor Stocks. “Sand replenishment also benefits shorebirds by providing them with additional sandy beach habitat; and it helps support our local economy, as well as protect public and private infrastructure from high tides and storm damage.” The project has avoided controversy with local environmental groups according to SANDAG spokesperson Helen Gao by “Engaging stakeholders, environmental groups, resource agencies, and regulatory agencies early in the project allowed any concerns or issues to be discussed and addressed. Most recognize and agree that the San Diego coastline is suffering from erosion and that this erosion leads to loss of habitat and potentially threatens public and private infrastructure. The goal of the sand replenishment project is to maintain our beaches to support the quality of life that San Diego is famous for.” In Imperial Beach everyone is welcome to observe the sand being pumped out of a pipe from the offshore ship Liberty Island and spread on the beach by bulldozers as the construction area will be clearly marked. Beaches will be nourished in 500-foot segments that shift along the fill site until each section is completed. For safety reasons, this will be the only area where the public will not be allowed. The public can view the construction anywhere outside the active construction zone. As construction proceeds down the beach, the newly created beach will be open for use. The Imperial Beach section is scheduled to be completed by the end of September

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