Rocks rolling to repair nuclear-plant damage

When completed, the 150-acre rock reef will be enhanced by giant kelp plants attached by divers.

A $40-million project to repair damage from a nuclear power plant in Southern California began this summer when barges dumped 125,000 tons of quarry rock a half-mile offshore and into 50 feet of water off the San Clemente coastline.
Southern California Edison, the utility operating the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, is bankrolling the project because the station’s cloudy water discharge drifts southward, blocking sunlight from a natural kelp bed and damaging about 180 acres of marine life habitat.  
When completed, the 150-acre, rock reef – spanning 2.5 miles long from San Clemente pier to San Mateo Point – will be enhanced by giant kelp plants attached by divers.  In turn, the new kelp bed is hoped to attract an ecosystem including calico bass, sand bass, barracuda, yellowtail and white seabass.


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