January 15, 2024

Statement Regarding Delay of San Clemente Sand Replenishment Project

San Clemente, CA - Today, Rep. Mike Levin (CA-49) and San Clemente Mayor Victor Cabral learned that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sand replenishment project will be delayed due to ongoing sand quality issues.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to allow the contractor, Manson Construction, to delay the project up to 70 days to ensure that quality sand is used for dredging and finishing the project. Work is expected to restart in about two months with better quality sand.

Rep. Levin and Mayor Cabral released the following statement:

“We are extremely disappointed that this important sand replenishment project is being delayed. Its completion is critical to San Clemente’s residents and economy, and for protecting our local infrastructure like the LOSSAN Rail Corridor, which provides a vital rail connection for the region and is key to our national security.

“We fought hard to kickstart this project, with Rep. Levin securing $9.3 million in federal construction funding and the City of San Clemente securing the required matching local funding. While this is a setback, we will continue to fight for the completion of this project in the coming months. Longer term delay is unacceptable.

“It is imperative that the Army Corps rectify ongoing issues and find high-quality sand that is suitable for our beaches. We fully expect for this project to restart in two months and will keep working with partners to ensure that happens.”


On Saturday, January 13, 2024, the Los Angeles District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) communicated that Manson Construction had decided to postpone the delivery of material to San Clemente. The City was advised that the delay is short term, 60 to 70 days, and that the dredge will return to San Clemente after it finishes the Solana Beach sand replenishment project.

The San Clemente Beach nourishment project serves to stabilize our shoreline and bluffs, and is essential for the protection of the LOSSAN Rail Corridor, which has been designated by the U.S. Department of Defense as part of the Strategic Rail Corridor Network and is also the second busiest rail corridor in the United States.  

Stabilization of the beach serves an important national security objective. This past year alone, the rail line through San Clemente was closed to rail traffic due in part to the lack of sand supply in the region.  Given the City’s adjacency to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, the protection of our rail corridor is critical to the security of our country.

Based on 20 years of study, analysis and numerous vibracore sampling efforts, the USACE developed a plan to utilize a borrow site off of the Santa Margarita River mouth. To date, the dredge has not tapped into the large sand deposits that the USACE believes to be offshore.

The USACE must complete this long-awaited and long-planned project by ensuring the dredge contractor returns to San Clemente in the promised 60-70 day time period to deliver the quality and quantity of sand as envisioned under the project authorized by Congress.