Officials from the cities of Dana Point and San Clemente met with other city leaders from North San Diego County last month to discuss issues related to coastal erosion and sand nourishment.
The Coastal/California 7 Summit, or C7 Summit, was attended by the mayors of Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, Oceanside and Solana Beach, in addition to those from the South Orange County cities.
All the cities have beaches included in the Oceanside Littoral Cell, which contains its own cycle of sedimentation and determines how sand gets transported to each beach. San Clemente Mayor Chris Duncan said the decision to come together stemmed from the theory that the cities would see better results relating to coastal erosion solutions by acting together.
“We, meaning myself and City Manager Andy Hall, broached the idea with some other cities about getting together to see if there might be some areas of commonality, to see where there’s areas where there might be different approaches that could be valuable for us that we haven’t used yet,” said Duncan.
He expressed gratitude to Oceanside Mayor Esther Sanchez for hosting the event, adding that the October meeting was a time for sharing ideas and the progress each municipality has made.
The group also discussed what to do next, in terms of when to meet and potentially collaborating to receive funds from the state government, according to Duncan, who called the meeting “very productive and strategic.”
“I think others felt that way, too,” he said. “It was the first step in hopefully a longer process of facilitating some cooperation between us, because alone, we don’t have the resources to tackle a major regional problem like this.”
Dana Point Mayor Mike Frost added that he saw the meeting as important because it gave the cities an opportunity to understand each other’s ideas, saying that the city would participate in similar efforts in any way possible.
Additionally, the leaders reviewed the City of Oceanside’s actions related to the coastline, as Oceanside is “probably a little farther down the road” regarding a large-scale solution,” Duncan said.
Oceanside is in the planning stages of a pilot sand retention project and a program to annually deliver 150,000 cubic yards of sand to its shoreline, in addition to other initiatives led by the city’s recently hired Coastal Zone Administrator Jayme Timberlake. The creation of that new position helped encourage the City of San Clemente to contract Leslea Meyerhoff for the same role in early October.
“In reviewing some of the ideas for Oceanside, it really was illuminating on how we’re probably going to eventually approach it,” Duncan said. “It does highlight that every beach isn’t the same and a different approach is going to work at a different beach.”
Another realization Duncan mentioned was that residents would prefer San Clemente not implement large structures that negatively impact local beaches and their respective surf environments.
“I was pretty pleased, because there’s always the possibility that we’re so out of alignment that there’s really no room for working together,” Duncan said. “ I get the impression that we have different situations and potentially different approaches, but there was a lot of commonality and a lot of willingness to work together in those areas of commonality.”