Finishing touches on the “first of its kind” Cardiff State Beach Living Shoreline project were completed last week, with final Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) measures and road striping completed along the 2500 block of Highway 101 just in time for the summer beach season. This is the second ADA accessible beach area in Encinitas with Mobi-Mat wheelchair access to hard-pack sand on the beach (the other is Moonlight Beach).
Construction began in October 2018 to build sand dunes supporting native plant and animal habitat which serve to protect a stretch of Cardiff shoreline and Highway 101 historically plagued by storm surges and flooding and provide habitat for native plants and wildlife.
Funding for the $2.5 million Cardiff State Beach Living Shoreline project substantially came from the State Coastal Conservancy, the California Ocean Protection Council, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG).
The half-mile, sand dune restoration pilot project was headed by the City of Encinitas, California State Parks, the State Coastal Conservancy and the Nature Collective (formerly known as the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy). The project’s goals are to protect Highway 101 from damaging storm surges and limit coastal flooding potential, while enhancing wildlife habitat for sensitive and special-status plant and animal species.
The Living Shoreline Project is a pilot project for Southern California cities facing similar sea level rise and climate change challenges. These challenges include maintaining infrastructure in the coastal zone, while following the guidance of the California Coastal Commission to limit the use of “hard” protection techniques, such as sea walls and revetments. — News release