Friday, September 15, 2017

SF Planning Set to Vote on New Erosion Policy for Ocean Beach

This summer, a beach has re-emerged at the erosion hotspot.
Unfortunately, it will almost certainly erode this coming winter.
Photo: Ocean Beach Surfer Paul Lewis 

Greetings Surfriders,

In order to build a project that addresses beach erosion at Sloat, zoning laws for the Ocean Beach shoreline need to be updated.  This is what the Local Coastal Plan (LCP) amendment process is about.  The LCP is now up for final approval.

As you may be aware of, Surfrider has been heavily engaged in the drafting of the LCP.  The zoning rules for erosion management will have a major impact on the preservation of the beach south of Sloat as well as greater Ocean Beach.

The Local Coastal Plan (LCP) hearing and vote is set for October 5th at SF Planning Department.  Please attend if you can; or send in a comment letter now.  Here is a basic message:

Climate change and sea level rise will only exacerbate erosion rates at Ocean Beach.  In order to preserve the shoreline south of Sloat and greater Ocean Beach, long-term planning based on managed retreat should be the preferred strategy.  Sand replenishment is a temporary solution to coastal erosion, not a permanent fix. 

For more information on the LCP amendment,  please visit:

To comment on the LCP,  please send an email letter to:

Maggie Wenger
LCP Amendment Project Manager
SF Planning Department
(415) 575-9126

PS: Pease sign and share our petition if you haven't yet!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

SF Zoo's Science / Interpretive Center

SF Zoo's Science Interpretive Center "pop-up"

Greetings Surfriders,

If you haven't signed our new petition yet, please do. Also, you can help the campaign by sharing this with your network.
By now you may have noticed a new structure built on top of the berm across from the north parking lot.  We placed some calls and found out the buildings are a temporary science/learning center for children's programs at the San Francisco Zoo.  

During the Ocean Beach Master Plan process, both the San Francisco Zoo and San Francisco Recreation and Park had representation on the Steering Committee (Executive Level).  These two agencies also were represented on the Planning Advisory Committee level (which comprised of community / non-profit representatives).  At no time did we hear of the Zoo's intention to run their own science interpretive center on that area of the berm.

The Ocean Beach Master Plan instead recommended the conversion of the Fleishhaker pool house into a free public warming hut / interpretive science center.  We fully supported this concept. However, the pool house burned down not long after the release of the OMBP. 

Surfrider still fully supports the Master Plan idea of a public warming hut / interpretive center in the area occupied by the pool house. The Zoo's private new structures conflict with this goal.

The good news is that there is time to fix this issue. The buildings appear to be pre-fab. and easily removed. 

We urge SF Zoo, Rec. and Park, SPUR and all other entities involved in the Ocean Beach Master Plan to come together, have an open discussion and let the public weigh in on this issue.  

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

North Parking Lot Replacement Needed

This location could make a fine location to place a new main parking lot for south Sloat.

Greetings Surfriders,

While we await a new date for the Local Coastal Program hearing at SF Planning, we would like to dedicate this month's post to the fate of the north parking lot at Sloat. 

As you may know, the 2012 Ocean Beach Master Plan proposed the idea of relocating the north parking lot spaces onto the southbound Great Highway near Wawona.  Surfrider opposed this idea since the point of the managed retreat plan was to relocate infrastructure away from the water. To their credit, the SPUR-led team cancelled this parking plan. 

The challenge is we still need a good parking alternative to replace the north lot. 

To address this, Surfrider has recently signaled interest in the area of land to the south of the zoo's paid parking lot. This is an area of land accessible by Herbst/Armory Road, and sits on the landward side of the Great Highway south of Sloat.  See picture above.

We believe this site could be ideal as a replacement for the north lot. Since the south of Sloat Great Highway will eventually be closed, vehicular access for the new parking lot can be done via Herbst - Armory Road. The new parking access could contain all the original parking spaces from the eroded north lot along with a bathroom, shower, water fountain, trash receptacle, and bicycle parking station.  It would serve as the main beach access lot and connect beautifully to the Master Plan's coastal hiking/biking trail idea.  Look for the chapter to advocate for this solution going forward.

Thanks for checking in!

PS: If you haven't signed our new petition yet, please do!  Also, you can help the campaign by sharing this with your network.

Friday, June 9, 2017

SF Examiner Covers Sloat / LCP Vote Postponed / SLR Workshop In Pacifica

Summertime means fishing in the fog at Sloat.
Greetings Surfriders,

The SF Planning Commission hearing was postponed.  Please stay tuned for the new date. 

On June 9th the San Francisco Examiner ran a nice story on the LCP and where we are in the effort to implement managed retreat at Sloat.   If you are looking to get a full picture of where the campaign is right now, this article provides an excellent snapshot.

Please sign and share our petition if you haven't yet!

Also, this coming Friday June 16th there is a sea level rise workshop being held in Pacifica.  USGS scientist Samuel Johnson and others will be on hand to go over the geology of our coastline, its history and what we can expect with a future of rising seas.  A discussion about our options for how we respond will also be open for discussion. 

Sea Level Rise: Understanding our Coast
Friday June 16 6:45pm at the Pacifica Coastside Museum – 1850 Francisco Blvd. Pacifica

Sponsored by Pacifica’s Environmental Family and the Pacifica Climate Committee

As always, thanks for checking in.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Petition Still Live - Final LCP Hearing at SF Planning June 8

Sloat Erosion Site: June 1987
Before the Oceanside Treatment Plant and Lake Merced Tunnel infrastructure.

Greetings Surfriders,

If you haven't done so already, please sign our new petition to restore Sloat.

SF Planning Commission is due to vote on the LCP amendment for Sloat on June 8th.  Please attend the hearing and comment if you can!  The address is 1650 Mission St. Ste 400

While the current version of the LCP amendment is not fatally flawed, it does have major room for improvement.

Surfrider is particularly concerned that the document does not recognize and build off of erosion management rules that are already on the books at the Coastal Commission.  We specifically cite the 1986 SF Ocean Beach Beach Nourishment Plan document.

The LCP amendment could also be improved by:

·      Clarifying what constitutes an erosion emergency that allows hard armoring such as rock.

·      Stating a clear preference of using soft solutions such as sand over rock armor in the case of emergencies.

·      When hard armoring is used in an emergency, require a deadline for its removal and replacement by sand dunes.

·      Prohibiting the rejection of sand dune nourishment and/or managed retreat solutions for erosion based on cost alone.

If you cannot make the June 8th hearing, please send your comment letters to:
Maggie Wenger
LCP Amendment Project Manager
SF Planning Department

Saturday, April 22, 2017

New Sloat Petition / Public LCP Meeting May 2

The Sloat erosion area was battered by winter storms this year. Thankfully, no rock armor was added onto the beach. The pre-winter sand replenishment project may have helped in this regard.

Greetings Surfriders,

Happy Earth Day! 

As the Restore Sloat campaign hits the final stretch, we have a new petition for all to sign.

The purpose is to underscore our goals for Sloat restoration as the City finalizes the details of its erosion control project for the area. The design will be based upon the recommendations found in the Ocean Beach Master Plan.  We will continue to call for maximizing relocation of all threatened structures, even the Lake Merced Tunnel. The more beach area that we can secure for restoration, the greater the chance we have to maintain a sandy shoreline for the future.

More News: SF Planning has just added a public workshop for the LCP amendment May 2 6-8pm at the Ortega Library (3223 Ortega Street at 39th Ave). Please attend if you can.  There may be a discussion regarding south of Sloat road consolidation and realignment as well as options for temporary parking. 

Thanks for checking in!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Managed Retreat Phase 1 Announced!

Managed retreat for Sloat is officially on the way.
Greetings Surfriders,

We are pleased to announce that Phase 1 of the Ocean Beach Master Plan's managed retreat strategy has been announced. It appears on San Francisco Recreation and Park's website. This is a significant milestone for the Restore Sloat Campaign as it is the first public recognition that the City is indeed looking to embrace the Master Plan recommendations. As you may recall, the first move of the Ocean Beach Master Plan includes the consolidation and realignment of the road away from the water (on the landward side of the berm), and the construction of temporary parking. A walking trail is also slated to be installed. Details TBA. We'll let you know when the public can weigh in on the specific elements in this project.

Meanwhile, the LCP amendment hearing at SF Planning has been postponed until June 8th.  Please stay tuned!