The Agua Hedionda Lagoon is one of 3 lagoons in Carlsbad. Every 1 to 4 years since 1954 the Agua Hedionda lagoon has been dredged to remove excess sand that has flowed in from the ocean during the tides and forms a sand bar.
The dredging project (links to short video of the action on YouTube) has been the responsibility of the Encina Power Plant for years. Now that the power plant has been retired and is being torn down, the dredging, per an agreement with the City of Carlsbad, is now the responsibility of Poseidon Water (the desalination plant).
The dredging and sand replenishment is done during the winter to minimize disruption to wildlife and those visiting the beach. If you live in the area you no doubt have noticed the project has been ongoing for some time, and it’s expected to last until mid-April.
The public sidewalk remains open, and people are advised to stay away from the areas where the sand is being placed on Tamarack State Beach and Carlsbad State Beach, and to avoid the equipment.
Water and sand gets pumped by the dredging vessel in the lagoon through a large black pipe and deposited on the beach where heavy-duty equipment is used for placement where needed on the beach. A total of about 300,000 cubic yards of sand is being returned to the beaches. When you see the piles of sand on the beach you truly realize how much this is.
The sand replenishment work takes place Monday through Saturday during daylight hours. If stormy weather delays the project the work may also continue on Sundays as well to keep on schedule.