Mission Beach Sand Dredging Project Pissing People Off!

by on October 22, 2010 · 9 comments

in Environment, Health, San Diego

sand dredged Mis Bea

Sand being flushed onto the beach at Mission Beach. (Screen capture of 10News video.)

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.

Check out the links to the Voice story, here and here.

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.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar nunya October 22, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Army Corps of Engineers screw things up? Nah, say it aint’ so. roflmao

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avatar bodysurferbob October 27, 2010 at 1:54 pm

old-timers in the land of ob know about the army corps – they’re the ones who masterminded the jetty project in 1970 – which was halted btw by obcians of all flavors – check out the history on this here blog (i’m sure it’s here somewhere – type in ‘jetty battle’ or some such crazy thing in the blogs search bar somewhere around here).

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avatar scott October 23, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Similar issues occurred in past dredgings of San Diego Bay, in that sludge unexploded munitions kept turning up, let’s hope the Navy hasn’t dropped anything int he Mission channel!

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avatar Frank Gormlie October 25, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Scott, yes, thanks for bring that up – I remember that as well. It was a frightening thought, having the sludge from the bottom of the Bay dropped on the beaches.

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avatar Editordude October 25, 2010 at 6:30 pm

According to our stats, this is a very popular post, even though there aren’t that many comments.

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avatar Sarah October 25, 2010 at 7:24 pm

For one, I’m speechless. I can’t think of anything to say other than, “what a bunch of morons”.

They’re morons for doing it and they are morons for thinking nobody would notice. But then again, they did it and chances are they will keep doing it because any fines we enforce upon them will be less than the money they make by doing it their way.

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avatar bodysurferbob October 27, 2010 at 1:55 pm

sarah, hey maybe we could fine these guys and get the money to save the lifeguards, eh?

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avatar OBWarZone October 26, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Is this related to the loud sounds heard in N. OB late @ night & the early morning hours. From inside my house, it sounded as if boulders were being shifted on the jetty & then the sudden sound of water being pumped or flowing somewhere. It echoed throughout the neighborhood for a long period of time. Other neighbors also came outside concerned. It sounded as if N. OB was being flooded. Bizarre to say the least, I didn’t see anything pop up here yet. No, I wasn’t high *at the time* ;)

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avatar bodysurferbob October 27, 2010 at 1:56 pm

sounds like it’s time for the sleuth in you to check this out. i’m sure the blog here wouldn’t mind you sending them anything you find. just an idea.

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