SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - City crews are preparing the beaches in Oceanside for summer by getting rid of extra sand that has piled up near the pier. 

During the winter months, the sand accumulates around the jetty causing the harbor the become shallower and with this past winter's El Nino, there's more sand than usual and it needs to be moved. The annual dredging of the Oceanside Harbor got underway earlier this week, leaving sports fisherman Shawn Hicks thrilled. 

"There is a lot of erosion showing up on our beaches. It's a really good thing that they are utilizing it because we really need it," said Hicks. 

Every year, the Army Corps of Engineers removes about 180,000 cubic yards of sand from the mouth of the harbor. This year, that number is expected to double. 

"The sand is dredged from the bottom of the harbor, taken down the pipeline to where it is actually deposited on the beach," said Oceanside Police Officer Ryan Keim. 

The accumulated sandbar makes it difficult for boaters to get in and out of the harbor. 

"This is a hard harbor to get into on a south swell in the summer time because it's exposed so it can be treacherous getting in ," said local boater Bernard Keener. 

The 1/2 mile plumbing pipe used in the dredging is buried under the sand, so it goes undetected by beach goers. All of the sand that is accumulated from the dredging will then be dispensed along the coast, just in time for summer. 

The dredging is expected to continue until the end of July.