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.

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

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....






Friday, March 2, 2018

New Wastewater Infrastructure at Sloat Undermines Long-Term Managed Retreat Planning

The last thing we need is for the City to place more vital infrastructure in harm's way. 
Dear Activists,

We are dismayed to report that SFPUC, unbeknown to us until very recently - is seeking a Coastal Commission permit to build new wastewater infrastructure at Sloat. 

The new SFPUC project is essentially a redundancy system and new force main for the Westside Pumpstation.  While the project will improve water quality by decreasing sewer overflow events, a significant part of the new development will be located in the erosion hazard area we are trying to restore. 

To protect this new structure, the City is de facto going to rely on the buried seawall fronting the Lake Merced Tunnel. 

See link below for project details.  Clck for Thursday's Agenda item 10A.  There you will find a link to submit public comments which are due by 5pm today!  

Application No. 2-17-0184 (San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, San Francisco)Application by San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to add redundancy wastewater infrastructure associated with existing Westside Pump Station at 2900 Great Hwy in Ocean Beach area on west side of San Francisco, San Francisco County.

Please send in a comment asking for the denial of CDP 2-17-0184.  Even a simple statement like the following would be great help: 

SAMPLE COMMENT LETTER:

My name is _____. I surf/visit/hike/fish (whatever you do) Ocean Beach. I am writing today to ask that  CDP 2-17-0184 be denied because this development could be configured landward. Allowing this permit to be approved in the current design undermines the efforts of all stakeholders to restore this shoreline thru long-term managed retreat planning. At the minimum, the project should be placed on hold until an LCP update and long-term management plan is approved by the Coastal Commission. Thank you. 

Sincerely,

(your name)

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

LMT To Be Protected by Taraval Style Seawall


By rejecting managed retreat for the LMT, SFPUC is opting for a riskier path,
one fraught with high maintenance, to address Sloat erosion.

Greetings Surfriders,

We had a very informative chapter meeting last month. Thanks to all who attended. Ben Grant provided a nice summary of the Ocean Beach Master Plan while Bob Battalio brought us up to speed on the alternatives analysis study for the Lake Merced Tunnel (LMT).

It looks like SFPUC is going to go thru with building the Ocean Beach Master Plan’s buried seawall for the Tunnel. Engineer Bob Battalio explained that the models support the ability to protect the LMT with the low profile seawall thru 2100. However, the amount of sand dune replenishment needed to maintain the beach looks to be significantly high, especially after 2050. The Alternatives Analysis report is not finalized for publication yet, but when it is we will post a copy so you can check over the details.

While we are glad to see the City moving on a plan to clean up and restore the beach, we still contend that it is worth the investment to remove the LMT from the erosion hazard area now, and not sometime after 2050 when the cost will be much greater.

As surfers we know all too well the character of the nearshore environment at Ocean Beach. If anything, it is wildly unpredictable, subject to extreme energy, and thoroughly unforgiving. Leaving the LMT so close to the surf zone is a risky choice.  We can only hope the design works as well as the models say it will and preserves the beach.

Thanks for checking in!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Alternatives Analysis Phase Complete

Public access and wildlife habitat stand to gain from a restored beach at Sloat.

Greetings Surfriders,
During the holidays we had received word that the Alternative Analysis Report for the Lake Merced Tunnel is complete. After weighing a relocation alternative for the 14 Foot Diameter pipe, SFPUC management has apparently decided to keep the structure where it is - and to build the Ocean Beach Master Plan protection device. This would be a “Taraval” style seawall.

At our chapter meeting on February 6th (Sports Basement 1590 Bryant Street 7pm), we will hear from ESA engineer Bob Battalio who worked on the AAR.  Also, in attendance will be Benjamin Grant, SPUR Ocean Beach Master Plan Project Manager. We encourage all members, activists and supports to attend this meeting and ask questions about the results of the report.  Thanks for checking in!