Rep. Mike Levin to Host Dr. Pat Davis, Family Member of Encinitas Bluff Collapse Victims, for State of the Union

January 30, 2020
Press Release
Dr. Davis lost his wife, one of his daughters, and his sister-in-law from bluff collapse at Grandview Beach

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) announced that he will host Dr. Pat Davis, of Encinitas, as his guest for President Trump’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday, February 4th. Dr. Davis’s wife, Julie Davis, his youngest daughter, Annie Clave, and his wife’s sister, Elizabeth Charles, were killed when a coastal bluff at Grandview Beach in Encinitas collapsed onto them.

Several days before the bluff collapse, Rep. Levin called on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide long-overdue federal funding for the Solana Beach-Encinitas Coastal Shore Protection Project, also known as the San Diego County Shore Protection Project. Since the collapse, he has repeatedly pressured the Office of Management and Budget to approve federal funding for the project. Rep. Levin and Dr. Davis met last year to discuss their shared commitment to preventing future bluff collapses.

“The Grandview Beach bluff collapse was a horrific tragedy for our community, and the federal government has a responsibility to help prevent similar accidents in the future,” said Rep. Levin. “It is long past time that we invest federal dollars to stabilize coastal bluffs, which are increasingly vulnerable due to climate change, rising sea levels, and high-energy storm swells. We cannot let Julie, Annie, and Elizabeth to have died in vain. Dr. Davis and I stand together in our fight for action, and I am proud to host him as my State of the Union guest.”

“Not a single person should have to experience the loss that my family has a result of a bluff collapse,” said Dr. Davis. “In a coastal city like ours, where we are experiencing stronger storm swells and erosion as a result of climate change, we need to prioritize protecting human lives on our beaches. Replenishing beach sand is only one step of many that can be taken to protect lives on our shorelines. We need to work together at all levels of government to protect beachgoers, and the Administration must do its part. I’m grateful for the opportunity to attend the State of the Union and hope the President will recognize the urgent need to take action on this issue and save lives.” 

The Solana Beach-Encinitas Coastal Shore Protection project was authorized by Congress in 2016. Its primary purpose is to stabilize tall bluffs that erode due to high-energy storm swells, posing threats to life, safety, property, and critical infrastructure, including Southern California’s main passenger and freight rail corridor. The non-federal sponsor has the entire cost of Planning, Engineering & Design (PED) in hand, but is awaiting initial federal funding. In recent years, there have been a total of eight deaths from bluff collapses within the project’s study area.

Following Levin's calls for federal funding, Congress appropriated more than $900,000 last year for planning projects like the Solana Beach-Encinitas Coastal Shore Protection project.