Representative Mike Levin Calls for Increased Funding in Final Appropriations Bill for Encinitas-Solana Beach Coastal Protection Project

October 17, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) called for at least five million dollars in final Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shore protection investigations to support the Encinitas-Solana Beach Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Project. This funding could be used for the Planning, Engineering and Design (PED) phase of the Encinitas-Solana Beach renourishment project, which will reduce bluff collapses along the beach in North County San Diego.

“I am writing to make you aware of an urgent coastal protection project in my district and ask that you provide as much funding as possible for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shore protection investigations so that the Corps has the resources to begin work on the project,” Levin wrote to House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development Chair Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Ranking Member Mike Simpson (R-ID). “I have personally spoken with Assistant Secretary for the Army (Civil Works) R.D. James about the Encinitas-Solana Beach Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Project and he supports our efforts.”

“It is past time that Congress and the Administration begin adequately funding this project so that we can avoid the devastating loss of life in the future,” Levin added, recognizing three constituents who died after a bluff collapse at Grandview Beach in Encinitas.

Levin recently called on Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Russell Vought to approve federal funding for the Encinitas-Solana Beach Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Project, which would stabilize tall bluffs that erode due to high-energy storm swells, posing threats to life, property, and critical infrastructure. Several days before the Encinitas collapse, Levin called on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide additional federal funding for the Planning, Engineering, and Design (PED) of the Solana Beach-Encinitas Coastal Shore Protection Project.

Representative Levin recently spoke on the House floor to honor the victims of the bluff collapse in Encinitas.

Click here or see below for Levin’s full letter:

Dear Chair Kaptur and Ranking Member Simpson,

Thank you for your work in drafting a strong Energy and Water Development appropriations bill for fiscal year (FY) 2020. The bill includes many priorities for Members on both sides of the aisle, and I was proud to support it on the House floor. I am writing to make you aware of an urgent coastal protection project in my district and ask that you provide as much funding as possible for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shore protection investigations so that the Corps has the resources to begin work on the project.

On August 2, 2019, the lives of three of my constituents were lost due to a bluff collapse at Grandview Beach, in Encinitas, California. Julie Davis, Annie Clave, and Elizabeth Charles were at the beach celebrating Elizabeth’s victory over breast cancer. Suddenly, a bluff along the beach collapsed and they were torn from the lives of their loved ones. Our San Diego community has mourned their loss and I am committed to ensuring that we do not experience this type of incident again. Tragically, bluff collapses have killed eight people in North County San Diego in recent years.

Fortunately, our region has a solution ready to address the dangers caused by bluff collapses. Authorized in 2016, the Encinitas-Solana Beach Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Project is designed to stabilize tall bluffs that erode due to high-energy storm swells. Bluff erosion poses a threat to life and safety, as well as property and critical infrastructure such as Southern California’s main passenger and freight rail corridor. The cities of Encinitas and Solana Beach have been strong non-federal partners as they actively worked with the Army Corps to develop this project. In fact, they have secured all necessary non-federal funding for project Planning, Engineering & Design (PED) activities, and now await Federal PED funding.

I have personally spoken with Assistant Secretary for the Army (Civil Works) R.D. James about the Encinitas-Solana Beach Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Project and he supports our efforts. The project also enjoys the support of the Army Corps’ Los Angeles District and South Pacific Division. It is past time that Congress and the Administration begin adequately funding this project so that we can avoid the devastating loss of life in the future.

As you work to write final FY2020 appropriations bills, I ask that you provide adequate resources for this project by making available at least $5,000,000 in additional funding for shore protection investigations, as is included in the Senate’s Energy and Water Development appropriations bill. I also urge you to include language that sets aside $905,000 for the PED phase of beach renourishment projects that have been authorized by Congress for construction.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

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