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First Responders
Sand Starvation
New Sand Sources
Nourish or Armor
How much has the sand supply to beaches of the Oceanside littoral cell from rivers and streams has been reduced due to dams and urban development?
a.  5 %
b.  25 %
c.  55 %

Dam at Lake Hodges on the San Dieguito River. Photographer Pat Masters. Image used with permission.

Dropcap Nothing is more critical to the future of the California coast than sand supply.

Sandy beaches are "first responders" that protect our coasts from erosion when high-energy winter storms bring heavy surf. Beach sand dissipates the destructive energy of waves and prevents wave damage to sea cliffs and coastal property. However, dams and increasing urbanization in southern California interrupt the necessary supply of sand from the watersheds to the beaches. Sand-starved beaches cannot shield the coast from erosion.

Boulders piled up at bottom of sea cliffs underneath coastal homes.
Bluff collapse at Solana Beach, California. Photograph by Pat Masters. Image used with permission.
Our challenge is to safeguard the natural supply of sand from streams and rivers or find new sources to restore the coast now and prepare for more intense climate in the future.

Coastal Morphology Group • Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Last modifed Thursday September 23, 2004

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