Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Our Letter to SFPUC

Dear Surfriders and Friends,

Below is our official comment submitted to SFPUC last week regarding the wastewater infraestructure at Sloat.

July 27, 2010

SF Public Utilities Commission
1155 Market St., 11th floor
San Francisco CA, 94103
ph: (415) 554-3155


RE: Item to be added to the 5 year CIP

Dear Commissioners,

Surfrider San Francisco, Save the Waves Coalition, and our engineering consultants at Phillip Williams and Associates would like to share with SFPUC our view of the Lake Merced Transport Tunnel in the south of Sloat area.

Since the mid 1990s, 3 significant and costly rock armoring projects have been installed in an effort to protect Sloat's wastewater infrastructure from coastal erosion. These projects may have worked temporarily to safeguard City assets, but ultimately the threat of erosion has continued - and is projected to continue.

The erosion problems in the South Sloat area have been going on for nearly 20 years, when the area was filled to create parking and the Great Highway Extension. Photographs and maps document that the Funston Bluffs, to the south, have been eroding since before the 1850’s, when the first scaled coast survey was accomplished. Combined with predicted rise in sea levels, we believe The City will add more rock or other armoring in the future. We believe this not within our collective interest. Expensive coastal armoring cannot permanently halt the advance of the Pacific Ocean. Eventually, infrastructure will have to be moved. We hope that SFPUC agrees with this view, and will thereby plan for a sustainable future – one that is consistent with State guidance on adaptation to sea level rise.

Presently, the beach in the South of Sloat area is an unmitigated disaster. Unearthed construction rubble covers the shoreline interspersed with the aforementioned rock armoring. Just over a decade ago, there was enough sandy beach in this area for people to enjoy putting out a towel, fishing, or flying a kite. Now, there is only a small sliver of sand left - one that is not safe to access, inappropriate for public recreation and ecologically degraded.

For these reasons, Surfrider Foundation, San Francisco Chapter and Save the Waves Coalition would like to recommend that PUC begin planning for a reconfiguration and/or re-routing of the Lake Merced Transport Tunnel at South Sloat: Our organizations suggest that such an initiative be included in the current Sewer System Master Plan's 5 Year CIP.

Thank you,

Sincerely,

Bill McLaughlin
Erosion Committee
Surfrider Foundation, San Francisco Chapter

Josh Berry
Environmental Director, Save the Waves Coalition

Bob Battalio, PE
Principal
Phillip Williams and Associates