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News Updates

Agua Hedionda Lagoon Dredging

Carlsbad beaches will soon have more sand as a result of the Agua Hedionda Lagoon dredging project, happening from early February until mid April. 

The lagoon has been dredged every one to four years since 1954 as part of the Encina power plant operations. The last time the lagoon was dredged was three years ago, in 2018. Now that the Encina plant has been retired, Poseidon Water is taking over the dredging, as part of an agreement when the seawater desalination plant was built and came online in 2015.

The work typically takes place during the winter to minimize impacts to beach visitors and wildlife. 

Regular dredging is needed to remove sand that slowly enters the lagoon and forms a large sand bar in the western-most part of the lagoon. In all, up to 300,000 cubic yards of sand will be returned to Carlsbad beaches during the project. The exact locations are determined based on environmental analysis. The sand will be deposited on Tamarack State Beach and Carlsbad State Beaches.

A dredging vessel has been positioned in the lagoon, and large black pipes will be placed along the seawall just west of the lagoon to deposit sand on the beach. 

Dredging operations and sand placement will take place during daylight hours, Monday through Saturday. If the schedule is delayed by storms, work may occur during daylight hours on Sundays.

City staff reminds the public to be careful around dredging equipment and stay clear of sand placement operations. Signs will be posted around the sand placement sites, as the contractor moves along the beach, to inform the public of the dredging activity. The sidewalks along the sea wall will remain accessible during the project.

More information


February 5, 2021