Millions Needed to Keep O.C. Beach From Washing Away

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (KTLA) — Erosion has stripped away a huge portion of San Clemente beach over the past 30 years, but fixing the problem could be costly.

Historically, winter storms strip the beach and summer swells restore it, but in recent decades, summer hasn’t kept up.

According to the Army Corps of Engineers, the beach’s average width is less than half of what it was during the 1970s.

There are concerns that, without replenishment, the train tracks and the buildings and structures near the beach could be threatened.

A proposed 50-year sand replenishment program would cost $50 million. If Congress agrees to help fund the initial $11.3 million, work could begin in 2015.

The Army Corps of Engineers says 251,000 cubic yards of sand would need to be added to each side of the pier.

To put that amount of sand in perspective, the O.C. Register said that if you piled it over the San Clemente High School football field and track, it would stand 46 feet high.

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