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Border Field State Park Dune Enhancement

An experimental project using green engineering techniques to restore coastal dunes at Border Field State Park, San Diego.

Border Field State Park is located in southern San Diego and the once large dune system protected the Tijuana Estuary from storm surges and sediment overwash. It also provided high quality biological habitat for a number of sensitive species.

This project restored the coastal dunes system along the south end of Border Field State Park, using a “living shoreline” approach and had the potential to help re-establish a self-sustaining dune system with high levels of ecosystem function and a large space to accommodate future adaptation.

Through this work, practitioners evaluated proven, innovative methods in a formal experiment design for rebuilding dune topography and restoring native vegetation. The methods tested have been shown to be effective on the East Coast of the United States and elsewhere but had not been tested in the unique coastal dune systems of southern California. The restored dunes will increase the wetland system’s resilience to sea level rise while also providing benefits for multiple rare species.

Project Partners: Coastal Environments, Inc., Border Field State Park, Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, California Ocean Protection Council, California Sea Grant Program, and the University of Southern California Sea Grant Program.

Project Status


Point of Contact

Hany Elwany, MASCE, Engineer, Oceanographer and Hydrologist

Dave Hubbard, Beach Restoration Ecologist

Project Website


Testing a Novel Technique for Restoring Coastal Dune Systems at Border Fields State Park

September 7, 2022

Testing a Novel Technique for Restoring Coastal Dune Systems at Border Fields State Park


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