November 3, 2011
By Ruxandra Guidi
SAN DIEGO — The "surf fence" runs 300-feet into the Pacific Ocean. It was originally built between 1993 and 1994 as a barrier to illegal border crossers and smugglers.
The new fence will look essentially the same: Metal pipes, 6-inches in diameter, rising out of the sand, with 4-inches in between. But it is designed to stay in good shape for as long as 30 years.
"The fencing is just another tool that we have," said Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Michael Jimenez, referring to its design. "It helps to slow down the entry of these people to give our agents a chance to make an arrest. Because a fence alone isn't going to stop people from coming in."
But the fence is designed to be wide enough for fish and other wildlife to make it back and forth across the border.
Rebuilding efforts in this and other parts of the Southwestern border fence have been delayed over the years, due to environmental impact assessments for things like land use, geology, and protected species.