California Sand Resource Assessment Project

San Francisco Littoral Cell

San Francisco Littoral Cell

We collected geophysical and seafloor samples offshore of San Francisco in 2019.

Silver Strand Littoral Cell

Silver Strand Littoral Cell

We collected geophysical data and seafloor samples in the Silver Strand Littoral Cell, offshore of San Diego, in 2017 and 2018.

Oceanside Littoral Cell

Oceanside Littoral Cell

We collected geophysical data and seafloor samples offshore Oceanside in 2017 and 2018.

Science Center Objects

The USGS is working in partnership with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the State of California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) to evaluate sand and gravel resources in Federal and State waters for potential use in future beach nourishment projects.  Prior to the leasing and development of outer continental shelf (OCS) sand resources for use in beach restoration or coastal protection, BOEM requires geophysical and geotechnical studies to identify and evaluate offshore sand resources. The USGS study funded by BOEM/OPC will provide fundamental geophysical and geotechnical data and interpretation to assist with resource characterization and future decisions about the use of these resources.

The work of this study is focused on three sites that were chosen in a collaborative exercise between project partners and members of the California Coastal Sediment Management Workgroup (CSMW).  Sites were prioritized by the proximity to critical erosion hotspots as defined in Regional Coastal Sediment Management Plans prepared by county and local government agencies in coordination with CSMW.  These study sites were: the San Francisco Littoral Cell, the Oceanside Littoral Cell, and the Silver Strand Littoral Cell.

Photo of the stern of a ship at a dock with people standing together, and a bridge is in the far distance.

USGS scientists aboard R/V Bold Horizon at the dock in San Diego, CA, preparing for a sampling and data collection research cruise offshore of Oceanside.

(Credit: Tom Lorenson, USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center. Public domain.)