Collapsed bluff in Encinitas
The collapsed bluff in Encinitas that killed three people in 2019. Courtesy OnScene.TV

Rep. Mike Levin announced the Army Corps of Engineers will spend $400,000 for initial planning and engineering to secure unstable bluffs in Encinitas and Solana Beach.

The announcement on Monday comes days after Levin hosted Dr. Pat Davis, who lost three family members from the bluff collapse at Grandview Beach last year, as his guest for the State of the Union address.

The Army Corps also allocated $505,000 for the planning and engineering of a similar project in San Clemente.

Several days before the bluff collapse at Grandview Beach, Levin had called on the Army Corps to provide long-overdue federal funding for the Encinitas-Solana Beach Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Project. After the collapse, he repeatedly pressured the Office of Management and Budget to approve federal funding for the project.

“I am proud that we have finally secured significant federal funding to help secure coastal bluffs in our community and prevent tragedies like the one Dr. Davis and his family experienced at Grandview Beach last year,” said Levin. “This funding will advance a critical phase of the Encinitas-Solana Beach Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Project, and effectively unlocks additional funding that local municipalities have pledged to the project.”

“While much more federal funding will be needed to secure our bluffs over the long-term, this is a significant step that was long overdue,” he said. “I’ll continue work with Dr. Davis and local stakeholders to gain additional federal funding needed to make our beaches safe.”

The  project was authorized by Congress in 2016. Its primary purpose is to stabilize tall bluffs that erode due to high-energy storm swells and rising sea levels, posing threats to life, property, and critical infrastructure, including Southern California’s main passenger and freight rail corridor.

The cities of Encinitas and Solana Beach have money allocated for the project, but were awaiting initial federal funding.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.