West Coast
Photo by Lexy Brodt

Bluff erosion issues remain ‘at the core’ of Del Mar

DEL MAR — For Del Mar natives, as well as the hundreds of surfers and visitors that traverse its paths, the bluff is a treasured and unique jewel. But several recent bluff failures between August and December have put residents and officials alike on high alert.

When it comes to the bluffs, Del Martians face two trying, major questions: how to deal with the continuing threat of bluff erosion, and what to do with the 100-plus-year-old train tracks carving a nest into the cliff’s edge.

‘At the core’ of Del Mar

As Councilman Dwight Worden has described it, bluff issues are “at the core” of the Del Mar community. To many, the 1.6-mile stretch of sandstone from Torrey Pines State Beach to 15thStreet is an icon of the region’s smallest city.

But what remains of the bluff west of the tracks between 8th and 11th Street — where the major recent bluff failures have occurred — is a troubling sight.

Mayor Dave Druker, who has lived in the city for 32 years, said this particular, elevated section of bluff was once as wide as 30 feet, and now, “there’s a spot where it’s inches.”

Although the bluffs have been a looming concern for Del Mar and other North County cities for decades, recent incidents have prompted new problems, and new dialogues.

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