Sloat Restoration through Managed Retreat

Sloat Restoration through Managed Retreat
This is our original vision for Sloat Restoration - graphic courtesy of PSA and Associates and the Ocean Beach Task Force

Our Vision of Beach Restoration and Preservation

We advocate a managed retreat strategy to restore both Ocean Beach south of Sloat and Sharp Park. At Sloat, our vision involves:

A long-term plan to relocate threatened infrastructure
(including the south of Sloat Great Highway, the two oceanside parking lots and the sewer lines underneath them).

The cleanup of all the rock and rubble littering the beach.

The use of sand dunes as the primary tool to slow erosion.

For Sharp Park, we advocate the decommissioning of the golf course, the removal of the rip-rap berm, and a full restoration of the wetland.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Sea Level Rise Set to Impact the Wildlife of California's Beaches

Without room for beaches to migrate landward, shorebirds will lose habitat.


Greetings Surfriders,

This year, a joint study was released by the Nature Conservancy and the Ca Coastal Conservancy concerning the impacts of sea level rise to the California coast.  The news is not good for our beach ecosystems.

The report Conserving California's Coastal Habitats: A Legacy and a Future with Sea Level Rise predicts that even five feet of sea level rise will threaten 60% of the state's upper beach habitats. (The report defines the upper beach area as the portion of sand from the average high tide line to the dunes, bluffs and other habitats).

For us locally, this spells a major threat to our seabirds. From sand pipers to snowy plovers, sea level rise and enhanced erosion could lead to a submerged shoreline. Without managed retreat, much of San Francisco and Pacifica's shoreline could be permanently submerged.  Without a sandy beach, shore birds will have less area to feed, rest or breed.

The Nature Conservancy assessment does have an upside.  The report states that if we act now, we can avoid and/or mitigate much of the damage. Managed retreat and shoreline restoration projects are singled out in the report as having a critical role.

Surfrider urges you to get involved to ensure we meet this challenge.  Stay tuned for the next public hearing for Sloat which should happen later this Fall. Shoot us an email at erosionob@gmail.com if you want to be directly notified of such events.

If you are a resident of Pacifica, please comment on the draft LCP sea level rise adaptation plan.  Send comments to sealevelrise@ci.pacifica.ca.us or to Bonny O'Connor, Planning Department, 170 Santa Maria Avenue, Pacifica, CA 94044 by 5pm Monday October 8th.  We need folks to continue to stand up for beach restoration and managed retreat of development.

Thanks for checking in.


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

California's 2018 Sea Level Rise Update

Change is coming, indeed. Posted on the wall of the Sloat restrooms.


Greetings Surfriders,

A few months ago, while we were in the midst of demanding fair treatment of a landward alternative for PUC's pumpstation upgrade, a new Ca state sea level rise guidance document was released.  Written for state and local planning agencies, the new guidance document contains a major revision of sea level rise projections for the entire state. 

The new numbers are shocking. 

Sea level rise planning for our project at Sloat has been using a worst case scenario of five and one half feet of sea level rise by the year 2100.  This was the worst case scenario projection which was endorsed by the Ca Coastal Commission.

Now, the state has revised the worst case sea level rise projection for 2100.  The upper end projection is now 10 feet!

Needless to say, this has major implications for our campaign work at both Sloat and Pacifica.

The state is asking all public agencies to, at a minimum, develop contingency plans for the new worst case scenario of 10' of sea level rise by 2100.  This includes projects (such as ours) that are in already in planning.  According to the Ca Ocean Protection Council, "adaptation pathways" or contingency plans for ten feet of sea level rise should be included in all projects that could be affected by the rising ocean. 

These new projections mean serious changes may need to be made both to the new Westside Pumpstation project and the long-term managed retreat and infrastructure protection plan for Sloat. Without a doubt, we will continue to track this issue. 




Monday, July 9, 2018

Sharp Park and Pacifica's LCP

Managed retreat is the best way to preserve the beaches of Pacifica.

Greetings Surfriders,

Pacifica is currently undertaking its own Local Coastal Plan (LCP) update. As explained in prior posts, an LCP is a city or town’s management plan for its coastal zone.

Public meetings for Pacifica’s LCP have already begun.  Apparently, there is a contingent very hostile to any talk of managed retreat. Once again, unfounded fears are being spread linking managed retreat to neighborhood flooding at Sharp Park.

Managed retreat includes the word “managed” for a reason. Relocation of threatened shoreline structures are managed.  Serious issues such as coastal flooding are accounted for and addressed.

For example, at Sloat, San Francisco's managed retreat plan will include protections for the nearby wastewater infrastructure. Sand dunes and restored beach areas are to work in conjunction with a buried seawall system. A combination of a restored shoreline and a back-up structure are used to slow erosion, prevent storm damage, and preserve the beach.

Pacifica has an extremely challenging erosion issue.  We encourage all LCP participants to get the facts from the scientific community; and to keep an open mind about managed retreat.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Next Step: Project Engineering and Design

The new sand dune has temporarily provided a rock free beach.
Photo: Sloat Intersection, Memorial Day 2018

Greetings Surfriders,

The last stage in the campaign to restore Sloat is about to begin.  We are now firmly on the march to building the Ocean Beach Master Plan recommendation for the erosion site.

This juncture is especially critical as the fine details of the shoreline management plan are about to be set.  Key items that need to be resolved are:

1. When will the road be redirected behind the SF Zoo? How will the traffic flow be managed in a way that does not create jams and back-ups, especially on nice weather weekends?

2. Where will the new main Sloat parking be built (how many spaces will it provide, who will managed it - NPS or SF Rec. and Park)?

3. When and how will the buried seawall be constructed?  What is the time-table for rock removal?

4. What sand replenishment regime can we expect to see - what triggers a replenishment project, who funds this work, etc.?

Surfrider is pressing to ensure that the community has input into these kinds of details as we enter the final planning process.

Thanks for checking in!

Monday, May 21, 2018

May Coastal Commission Hearing Recap

There is a new dune for the Sloat parking lot thanks to north Ocean Beach.


Greetings Surfriders,

We have an update on the Coastal Commission hearing from May 10. 

On a positive note, the Commission did indeed approve the Local Coastal Plan amendment for Sloat.  Thanks again to everyone who helped with this effort. Now, the restoration work outlined in the Ocean Beach Master Plan can be legally implemented.  

Re: Pumpstation: Unfortunately, we came up short on this issue.  The project was unanimously approved by the Coastal Commission despite the issues we had with the Alternatives Analysis Report and its results.

It was unfortunate to be put into a position to choose between enhanced water quality and beach preservation.  That being said, we did record our concerns; and look forward to ensuring a more rigorous review is performed regarding any future infrastructure upgrades at the site.

IMPORTANT: The Pumpstation upgrade construction will begin shortly and is due to require the closure of the northbound lanes south of Sloat over the next 2.5-3 years. 

We will have more info. on the next steps in the process to restore Sloat coming soon.  In the mean time, if you would like to help us with our campaign efforts, please contact us at anytime at erosionob@gmail.com 

Thanks always for staying engaged!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Coastal Commission Set to Vote on LCP / Westside Pumpstation


The Westside Pumpstation sits in a coastal hazard zone at south Ocean Beach.
It is important to get the upgrade permit done right.

Greetings Surfriders,

The next meeting of the Coastal Commission is now set.  It will be held up north in Santa Rosa on May 9 - 11.  Ocean Beach issues are on the North Central District agenda which will be heard on Thursday May 10th. Here is the official link to the agenda page. 

If you cannot attend the hearing, here's how you can help.


Just send in an email letter by Friday May 4th 5pm. Click on this link to the Coastal Commission's agenda website. Scroll down the page to Agenda Items 9A and 10A. Click Add Comment. See below for a sample letter.

Note: If you can attend the hearing show up well before 9am to fill out a speaker card.  Be prepared to speak sometime around mid to late morning at the earliest.

Thanks for keeping up the pressure to Restore Sloat!




I _____ (hike, surf, fish, enjoy etc.) Ocean Beach. While I support the proposed Westside Pumpstation upgrade and the water quality benefits it will bring to our ocean, I am concerned that the project's proposed design may lead to expanded future armoring in the area.  Furthermore a more appropriate, landward configuration alternative was rejected without a substantial analysis. 

Due to the effects of climate change and sea level rise, realignment and managed retreat of the wastewater infrastructure will eventually be needed to preserve this stretch of Ocean Beach.  Please deny this Coastal Development project and send it back for revision until a long-term management plan is first approved, and a quality alternative analysis is complete.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Pumpstation Issue Postponed

A new sand replenishment project is now being installed for the erosion site. For more info, see: https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Ocean-Beach-sand-transfers-will-disrupt-SF-12789253.php
While we appreciate the temporary improvement this work brings to the beach condition, it is time to implement the long-managed retreat plan. 





Greetings Surfriders,

Thanks to your help, the Coastal Commission voted to postpone the Westside Pumpstation upgrade project until the May meeting. We will have more info on how you can help with this issue by mid-April. 

A significant number of the Commissioners were sympathetic to our argument. Even those inclined to support the project - such as our own Aaron Peskin - recognized that the City should at least have an updated Local Coastal Plan approved before this new development goes thru. To view the video recorded hearing, see item 10A in the video replay.

We believe the permit postponement is a good outcome as the added time provides a window for all to consider the implications of this project, both long-term and short.

Ultimately, if California's coastal towns are going to protect their beaches from eroding away, they need to weigh the benefits of relocating development away from the water.  Seawalls and revetments typically harm beaches.  Sand replenishment is not going to be a sustainable, long-term fix.

Thanks for checking in....