Dad who lost family to bluff collapse leads push for new protections

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SAN DIEGO — Dr. Pat Davis joined Rep. Mike Levin and two local elected officials Friday as he returned to the place where a sandstone bluff collapsed and killed three of Davis’ family members last August.

At a news conference, Davis declared that with new federal funds, he hopes to prevent another tragedy.

Davis’ family was enjoying a day at Grandview Beach in Encinitas on Aug. 2 last year when a 30-by-25-foot chunk of sandstone collapsed on top of his wife, daughter and sister-in-law.

“Since the accident that killed three of my family members, Julie, Annie and Elizabeth — it happened eight months ago — there have been numerous bluff collapses, all with the potential to kill people,” Davis said. “They will continue to happen along our beautiful beaches in Encinitas and Solana Beach. People need to be mindful of how dangerous these bluffs can be.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers allocated $400,000 in federal funding last week for the planning, engineering and design phase of the Encinitas- Solana Beach Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Project. They allocated $505,000 for a similar design phase of the San Clemente Shoreline Project. These projects are the first step in preventing more tragedies like the one that befell Davis’ family.

“The primary purpose of this project is to stabilize tall bluffs that erode due to high-energy storm swells and rising sea levels — posing threats to life, property and critical infrastructure,” Levin said.

Levin hosted Davis as his guest at the State of the Union address. Solana Beach Mayor Jewel Edson and Encinitas Deputy Mayor Kellie Hinze joined Levin and Davis at the Friday news conference.

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