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By Eric Heinz
San Clemente City Council approved a contract of more than $626,000 to move 12,000 cubic yards of sand from the Lower Santa Ana River to portions of North Beach. The vote was 4-1.
The project is expected to replace lost sand at the beaches that is otherwise a collection of cobblestones.
During the meeting, the Council questioned staff members on what risks are involved in placing the sand in the area during the fall and winter months, as it could get swept away by the winter weather.
Councilwoman Lori Donchak said the beaches are a major component of the city and are a main reason as to why people move to San Clemente. Donchak said she is more confident in the project, hearing that the sand will not be “swept out to sea.”
“I think this is a good investment in North Beach,” Donchak said.
Tom Bonigut, deputy public works director, said unlike sand that’s been ordered for replenishment in the past, this sand will not have as many rocks.
The project is expected to take place sometime this fall. Mayor Bob Baker, who was the dissenting vote, said moving the sand during the winter months when the city sees more precipitation would be a bad idea because the beach would lose the new sand to southern swells and erosion before it seeps into the coastline.