Sunday, March 18, 2007

2001 beach benefits short-lived

A surfer walks on the narrow beach at Terra Mar in Carlsbad south of Tamarack Beach Wednesday.
BILL WECHTER Staff Photographer
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By: DAVE DOWNEY - Staff Writer

NORTH COUNTY ---- It was nice while it lasted. When the San Diego Association of Governments dredged up enough sand from the ocean bottom to fill Qualcomm Stadium and piped it onshore in the summer of 2001, San Diego County had some of the finest beaches around.

From Oceanside to Imperial Beach, once-narrow beaches suddenly were 25 to 100 feet wider than they were before the association spent $17.5 million and spread 2 million cubic yards of the fine material along six miles of the county's coastline.

But it didn't last. Winter arrived and storm swells battered the coast. And the manufactured beaches were swept back out to sea.

Within a year, most had thinned by 20 feet to 60 feet, according to a report by Gary Griggs, director of the Institute of Marine Sciences at UC Santa Cruz. Most shrank more the following year.

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