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Solana Beach SCOUP Program Continues at Fletcher Cove

Government and Politics

April 28, 2021

From: City of Solana Beach

As a requirement of the Solana 101 Mixed-Use project currently under construction at Highway 101 and Dahlia Drive, up to 25,000 cubic yards of the excavated sandy material from the site that has been determined to be suitable for beach renourishment is being placed in the nearshore at Fletcher Cove. The placement of this “opportunistic” material is being carried out under the City’s Sand Compatibility and Opportunistic Use Program (“SCOUP”). The SCOUP is a key element of the City’s shoreline protection/storm damage prevention, bluff erosion and sea level rise adaptation program.

Pursuant to the SCOUP program and permits, the material being placed on the beach has undergone extensive testing and analysis with a Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP) prepared and submitted to the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) for review and approval (see SAP Results). The SAPR for the Solana 101 project determined that the sandy material is free from contaminants and compatible for placement in the City’s surfzone.

The material being placed on the beach has been determined to be suitable for beach placement through grain size analysis demonstrating compliance with the environmental and regulatory parameters that the material be a minimum 75% beach sand and contain less than 25% fine grained sediments (fines) and clays. The darker sediment, or “fines”, is washed away by the waves leaving the beach quality sand on the beach and in the nearshore. The process is similar to the way material from eroding bluffs is collected by the incoming tides when it falls on the beach and is then disbursed along the shoreline and integrated into the sandy beach.

The Solana 101 SCOUP project is the first project to have met the strict SCOUP regulatory standards outlined in the City’s SCOUP permits. The City of Encinitas has implemented three SCOUP projects since 2008.

The City of Solana Beach is one of a few cities in San Diego County that has an approved Sand Compatibility and Opportunistic Use Program (SCOUP) for beach nourishment. SCOUP was developed in consultation with State and federal resource agencies and provides protocols and templates for a regional opportunistic sand program intended to streamline regulatory approval of beach nourishment projects of less than 150,000 cubic yards. The full text of the SANDAG SCOUP program can be found online at SANDAG.

SCOUP REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

The City has been proactive in advancing shoreline management activities, programs and policies to address climate change and sea-level rise. The City’s SCOUP program is a public beach restoration program and one element of the City’s coastal resiliency strategy. The City has SCOUP permits from the following agencies:

  -  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) §10 and §404 Permits: Valid through 4/30/2023
  -  California State Lands Commission (CSLC) Land Lease: Valid through 10/15/2023
  -  California Coastal Commission (CCC) Coastal Development Permit: Valid through 11/13/2023
  -  Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) 401 Water Quality Certification: Valid through 3/2/2024


Under the City’s SCOUP, up to 150,000 cubic yards per year (cy/yr) of material that is at least 75 percent sand and less than 25 percent fine grained sediments/clays may be placed at the designated City beach fill site (Fletcher Cove Receiver Site). Beach nourishment operations were conducted at this site as part of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) Regional Beach Sand Projects (RBSP) I and II, completed in 2001 and 2012, respectively. In addition, the site was used as part of the ongoing San Elijo Lagoon Restoration Project (SELRP) with related beach sand placement activities which occurred in 2018.

CEQA COMPLIANCE

The City of Solana Beach prepared a Final Mitigated Negative Declaration (“MND”, certified in 2008) jointly with the cities of Encinitas, Coronado, and Imperial Beach. The document found that impacts resulting from implementation of the proposed project could be mitigated to below a level of significance. Final MND, monitoring requirements and mitigation measures are linked here. The SCOUP's Notice of Determination (NOD) is linked here.

SCOUP OVERVIEW

The City’s SCOUP Program allows for streamlined approval of placement of beach compatible sediment at Fletcher Cove. Though the approval process has been significantly streamlined, each individual project does require review and approval prior to beach placement. The review process is outlined below.

  -  Sampling and Analysis Plan – Sampling plan and results of the sampling analysis of the export materials for physical and chemical compatibility. Compatibility determinations are granted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in coordination with other agencies.  
  -  Project Notification Report – Notification and approval of the project from jurisdictional agencies (California Coastal Commission, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Regional Water Quality Control Board and California State Lands Commission).
  -  Construction Monitoring and Reporting – Pre- and post-project monitoring of beach profiles and surfing, and construction monitoring of turbidity, grain size, grunion, debris may be required.


This review and approval process takes approximately 6-12 months. Work is typically performed by a coastal engineering consultant experienced with beach nourishment projects.