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San Clemente residents concerned sand replenishment project is actually adding rocks to beach

San Clemente city officials concerned sand replenishment project could be adding rocks to beach
San Clemente city officials concerned sand replenishment project could be adding rocks to beach 01:48

An ongoing sand replenishment project in San Clemente has residents concerned that their beach is actually being covered in rocks instead of the traditional soft, white sand they're used to. 

The dredging project was started to replace sand that had previously eroded from the shore, according to the Orange County Register, who reports that the total cost will equate to around $14 million. It will widen the beach by the pier by at least 50 feet. 

As such, city officials are making sure that they get exactly what they paid for, instead of what appears to be dark and coarse material that was recently brought in by construction crews. 

The piles of rocks, currently visible on the beach, have many on edge that things aren't going as planned. 

"i'm not coming to lay on the rocks," said Hannah Brown, who lives nearby. "My toddlers, my kids aren't coming to play in the rocks."

"Its loaded with rocks, it's more like dirt than sand and I don't think it's a great replacement product for the beach," said Aimee Dixon, another San Clemente resident. 

The sand in question is pulled from offshore Oceanside and shipped to San Clemente on a barge, where it is being distributed around the area. 

San Clemente Mayor Victor Cabral explained that the project is far from over. 

"They dredge, it's a large site, there's certain areas that are probably better for sand than others," Cabral said. "But, the location where they determined was best, there happened to be a lot of cobble and a lot of rocks."

He says that cobble, which is another word for a layer of rocks, is typical when dredging begins, but even so, they're making it clear to the project managers that what they want is sand. 

"Obviously, beaches should have sand and not stone. But, one good thing, and this is something that hasn't mentioned, cobble is a good base for keeping the sand," Cabral said. "So, we're glad there's a little bit of cobble that's being placed here because that will help in retaining the sand once it's delivered."

The project is expected to be completed by the end of January after a series of delays from weather that pushed back the completion date. 

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