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Sediment to be trucked out of Border Field State Park

State legislature flows money to project

Starting today, September 12, the sediment piled up in Goat Canyon's enormous basins will be removed, thanks to a $1 million state-budget award in June for Border Field State Park.

The three-year project calls for the removal of about 100,000 cubic yards that were previously removed from the basins; how much depends on the coming rainy season, according to acting reserve manager Chris Peregrin.

A Lakeside-based contractor will begin hauling away the approximately 30,000 cubic yards that have accumulated in the basins. The contractor will then remove at least 10,000 cubic yards from the total 130,000 cubic yards in the park.

The abundant sediment and trash come into the canyon from the part of the canyon in Mexico, where it's called Los Laureles. Although the movement of some amount of sediment is a natural process, what Peregrin described as "rapid and unconventional urban development" of the canyon stripped it of the things that would prevent erosion. The problem isn't new —Peregrin said the stuff started coming in at least 15 years ago.

"It became a problem as the population started growing in Tijuana," he explained. "The sediment is primarily coming from poverty-stricken areas."

In 2005, the Imperial Beach nonprofit Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association — cofounded by local environmental hero and veterinarian Mike McCoy — oversaw the construction of the enormous basins that fill with sediment every rainy season. Keeping the stuff from the northwest out of the estuary helps keep the estuary alive.

Officials in Tijuana, along with local environmentalists, binational groups like WiLDCOAST and San Diego-based groups including Surfrider are all working together to reduce the amount of trash and sediment originating upstream.

But no one wants the sediment that's been collected, which is composed mainly of fine silt. So, it has stacked up inside the park in two enormous piles, which are reputedly the equivalent of two football fields stacked 60 feet tall.

The three-year contract will allow the park to start pricing the full removal of the piles, Peregrin said. The first step is testing it for contaminants and heavy metals, which would drive up the price for disposing of it.

"We don't know yet where it will be dumped," Peregrin said. "It depends what the prices for exporting it will be."

revised 9/13, 12:55 p.m.

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Starting today, September 12, the sediment piled up in Goat Canyon's enormous basins will be removed, thanks to a $1 million state-budget award in June for Border Field State Park.

The three-year project calls for the removal of about 100,000 cubic yards that were previously removed from the basins; how much depends on the coming rainy season, according to acting reserve manager Chris Peregrin.

A Lakeside-based contractor will begin hauling away the approximately 30,000 cubic yards that have accumulated in the basins. The contractor will then remove at least 10,000 cubic yards from the total 130,000 cubic yards in the park.

The abundant sediment and trash come into the canyon from the part of the canyon in Mexico, where it's called Los Laureles. Although the movement of some amount of sediment is a natural process, what Peregrin described as "rapid and unconventional urban development" of the canyon stripped it of the things that would prevent erosion. The problem isn't new —Peregrin said the stuff started coming in at least 15 years ago.

"It became a problem as the population started growing in Tijuana," he explained. "The sediment is primarily coming from poverty-stricken areas."

In 2005, the Imperial Beach nonprofit Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association — cofounded by local environmental hero and veterinarian Mike McCoy — oversaw the construction of the enormous basins that fill with sediment every rainy season. Keeping the stuff from the northwest out of the estuary helps keep the estuary alive.

Officials in Tijuana, along with local environmentalists, binational groups like WiLDCOAST and San Diego-based groups including Surfrider are all working together to reduce the amount of trash and sediment originating upstream.

But no one wants the sediment that's been collected, which is composed mainly of fine silt. So, it has stacked up inside the park in two enormous piles, which are reputedly the equivalent of two football fields stacked 60 feet tall.

The three-year contract will allow the park to start pricing the full removal of the piles, Peregrin said. The first step is testing it for contaminants and heavy metals, which would drive up the price for disposing of it.

"We don't know yet where it will be dumped," Peregrin said. "It depends what the prices for exporting it will be."

revised 9/13, 12:55 p.m.

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1

Okay, the numbers are wrong. There are already 100,000 cubic yards of sediment piled in the park that were taken out of the basins earlier. You can see the two huge piles, one directly behind the Border Patrol helicopter and the other in the lower center-left, the dark green C-shape just right of the dirt road. There are another 30,000 cubic yards of sediment in the basins, which are dead center in the photos. That's from within the last year. The contract is to empty the basins, which brings the out-of-basins total to 130,000 cubic yards. Then the contractor will haul at least 10,000 cubic yards of the total 130,000 out of the park to an as-yet undetermined location.

Sept. 13, 2013

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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