Monday, June 18, 2012

Tombstones and Scouring at 2nd Lot

(left) 2nd Lot Shoreline Erosion / Sloughing Debris


Dear Surfrider Friends and Supporters,

Recently, there has been a good bit of media attention regarding the appearance of tombstones at Ocean Beach. In our newly published document The History of Coastal Erosion at Ocean Beach, we note that in1942, a large quantity of debris from the Laurel Hill cemetery was used to patch an erosion hotspot on the Great Highway at Rivera St. Not just headstones, but chunks of mausoleums were piled together to form a giant revetment - not unlike the one we have at Sloat today. According to local historian Woody LaBounty, the bodies of the deceased were first transferred to Colma - so we should be safe from seeing any skeletons popping up from the sand. Here are a pair of newspaper articles about the tombstones:


USA Today ttp://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/environment/story/2012-06-02/cities-flee-ocean/55348992/1

Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/07/san-francisco-gravestones_n_1579388.html

In other news...


There is a noticeable amount of beach scour at the moment below the second parking lot area. Additionally, new erosion was found of the bluff face itself. It appears that last month’s winds and swell energy have taken their toll. Also, a good deal of the construction rubble seems to be migrating away from the bluff and into the surf zone. See photo on this post. According to Bob Battalio, P.E. , coastal engineer at ESA and Associates, the rubble itself is probably not migrating into the surf zone, but rather it appears to be doing so because of a "sloughing process." This occurs when wave run-up strips sand from underneath an armored revetment. As sand is scoured away, the beach drops in elevation.  This causes rock material to slough downward, sinking into the wet sand. The revetment structure begins to flatten out, spreading over more area as it loses both its height and shape. As the high tide line encroaches, some of the rock will eventually remain submerged, creating underwater hazards. This process appears to be occurring at different areas along the armored shore. We have followed up with government agencies in the hope that some of this rubble may get cleaned-up or at least reconfigured landward during this summer’s sand replenishment effort.


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