The Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) plans to relocate sand from the mouth of the Tijuana River over the weekend on Saturday, March 10 and Sunday, March 11, 2018. Up to 8,000 cubic yards of beach sand will be excavated from the river mouth using heavy equipment. Sand will be transported by trucks and redeposited along the existing low sand dunes south of Seacoast Drive.
The beach will be closed to the public approximately ½-mile south from the end of Seacoast Drive to the river mouth. The closed area will be delineated in the field. In the interest of public safety, we ask all members of the public to avoid the closed areas.
Biological and Kumeyaay cultural resource monitors will be present during construction. The nesting season for the western snowy plover, a federally threatened bird, is approaching, and Refuge biologists will ensure minimal impacts to plovers or other sensitive species will occur from the project.
The Refuge obtained a five-year permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to allow dredging and related inlet maintenance at the Tijuana River mouth to maintain an open inlet and facilitate tidal exchange. The permit would allow inlet maintenance dredging of up to 10,000 cubic yards per year of sandy material that would be beneficially used to enhance the existing barrier sand dune system.
The mouth of the Tijuana River is highly susceptible to closure due to the condition of the estuarine tidal prism and the movement of imported and native sand on the beach. The most recent closures occurred in March – April of 2015, May and September of 2016, and April 2017.
The proposed project for March 10 and 11, 2018 is intended to reduce the likelihood that the river mouth will close to tidal circulation during the upcoming 2018 nesting season for the threatened western snowy plover, endangered California least tern and light-footed Ridgway’s rail, and many other species.
We apologize for any inconveniences over the weekend as a result of this project.
Contact: Brian Collins, Refuge Manager, 619-575-2704 x 302, brian_collins(at)fws.gov