Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Draft Ocean Beach Master Plan

Greetings Surfriders and Friends,

The draft Master Plan is now posted on the SPUR website Additional written comments are being accepted until Friday November 18.

There are many aspects of the draft to comment on. We will do so in future blog entries. First, we would like to comment on the most important aspects of Key Move 1 and 2.

Overall, we are very encouraged to see lots of managed retreat in the plan. Key Move 1 and 2 include the re-route of the Great Highway around the back of the zoo, rubble clean-up, pull back of the parking lots and sand dune restoration. These are all measures we support.

The biggest challenge is the fate of the Lake Merced Transport Box (LMTB). The draft suggests it may be possible to leave the box on the beach, mostly buried in place with a minimal protective structure covered by cobblestone and sand. Certainly, this is a welcome step away from massive quarry stone armoring. However, it is not known whether this solution is possible. In fact, Surfrider has been told repeatedly by the city that the box cannot be exposed; that it could rupture. Apparently a feasibility study of this issue is about to get underway. We welcome this study and hope to see this question answered asap. How the study turns out may determine whether Sloat is restored or not. Surely, if the box can be left in place, we have a decent solution that allows for major beach restoration. However, if the box cannot be protected this way, it will either need to be relocated or heavily armored. If the City were to choose to do the latter, we could wind up with a seawall on the beach at Sloat instead of sand dunes.

Ultimately our organization maintains that inland relocation is the clear sustainable long term approach for the LMTB. With the box moved away from the sea, we know the beach can be fully restored while infrastructure gains maximum protection. Please note this issue in any comments you may send in to SPUR regarding the draft.

One final note: Thanks to all who showed up at the Rip Curl / Surfrider contest kick-off party last Tuesday night. Green Day showed up as special guests. A great time was had by all. Kudos to the team at Rip Curl, Surfrider National, and our chapter volunteers. A $5,000 check was donated to the Sloat Erosion Campaign.

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