If you venture Cardiff’s coastline this week, the massive equipment nearby will be hard to miss. This week the San Elijo Lagoon’s inlet will be dredged so that the ocean can reconnect with the wetlands—something that’s done every year and is critical for maintaining a healthy water quality.
Thursday crews will begin the task of moving 25,000 cubic yards of sand out of small inlet, which sits just south of San Elijo State Beach Campground. San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy (SELC) is overseeing the work, which is expected to continue through Friday, May 4.
The small inlet, which sits just south of the San Elijo campgrounds, is the lagoon’s only connection to the sea. If it wasn’t dredged, the inlet would stay closed most of the year due to sand buildup. Opening the inlet allows tidal circulation, prevents stagnation and helps provide a better habitat for the plants and wildlife.
“Water movement is essential for preventing depletion of oxygen, thus maintaining water quality and the overall health of the entire reserve,” said Doug Gibson, SELC executive director and principal scientist.
A major dredging like this can cost as much as $100,000, and the California State Coastal Conservancy and CalTrans gave SELC support for this project, according to a news release from SELC.