Some people are really pissed off about the City’s sand dredging project on Mission Beach. And for good reason.
The project is supposed to be dredging the Mission Bay Channel to make it safer for boats, while at the same time pushing sand onto Mission Beach to replenish sand lost due to tides, storms, and erosion. The sand flowing onto Mission Beach is being sucked up from the bottom of the channel.
And there’s the problem: the dredging project is also pouring trash, old rebar and other sharp objects, wire, tires, cans, and other debris onto the beach. And it’s becoming dangerous and hazardous to walk on the beach in South Mission, local residents say. The $5.3 million project of the Army Corps of Engineers is creating the problems.
OB’s Bill Hickman of the Surfrider Foundation was quoted by 10News:
“Really, what was most concerning was … pieces of old cans that keep coming up. This is right on the beach where everybody walks … surfers, beachgoers. The beach doesn’t really look that bad, but as you get down to the tide line you can see some of the debris that is there and we believe it is also buried in the sand. Over time, as sand erodes, it will start to show more.”
(Here’s the 10News story.)
But it gets worst, dear friends of the beach.
The Voice of San Diego – which has been following this story carefully – reports that the private company responsible for the project and for pumping the sand, not only is not preventing the debris from being dumped, is not removing the debris immediately as pledged, and – to top it off – was not even monitoring the project at night to ensure all this happened – until that was discovered.
The Voice sent one of their reporters over to the pumping site in Mission Beach at night this week and found no lights and no monitor. This despite promises by the Army Corps and the project manager of Mason Construction, the company in charge of the dredging and pumping, to the contrary. The Voice reported:
At 7 p.m. Wednesday night, though, the man they promised was nowhere in sight. And no lights were shining on the pipe, which spewed a deluge of water and sand.
Even if the site had been lit, or a monitor stationed near the pipe, it would have been virtually impossible for a single person to see or remove debris as it flowed out with the torrential gush.
Residents of the beach and the Surfriders are worried because more debris could be buried below and on its way to the shore, plus debris from a similar Army Corps sand project five years ago in Imperial Beach is still coming up.