Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sandbag Work Complete - Extended Comment Period for Draft OBMP



Dear Surfrider Supporters,

The sandbag work at Sloat's north lot is now complete. Presently, there are no other plans to add sandbags unless we experience an extreme erosion event.

Some folks may wonder what exactly constitutes such an event and when do we get them...

Generally, we get heavy beach erosion when powerful winter storms make a direct hit to our coastline. A direct hit occurs when the core of a system makes landfall bringing with it high surf, strong winds and heavy rain. Here's a little video clip of an erosion producing storm: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38R0NvNJG9A&context=C35c902eADOEgsToPDskIEwyjinXyPmvzKBzl2KoP4 The worse erosion for us tends to occur when a direct hit coincides with a large high tide, such as those in the 6.0 ft. range or better. Storms barreling in from the ocean can create a powerful storm surge, allowing the surf to advance much further inland than under fair weather conditions. This allows the sea to chew up or erode whatever lies in its path. Most folks have heard of storm urge associated with hurricane landfall. The storm surge that comes from our winter storms is basically the same thing. Though less dramatic, storm surge from Pacific systems can cause plenty of damage, too, especially when structures have been located too close to the sea.

The good news is that this winter, we appear to be safe. The jet stream, which carries our storm activity, has been positioned well to the north. There has been a bonanza of great weather and surf, and a reprieve for the Sloat shoreline.

In other news, SPUR has secured a grant to do the feasibility analysis for the draft proposal at Sloat. This is great news. We hope to see a full analysis of the low profile tunnel reinforcement concept along with a tunnel relocation/re-alignment option. We are particularly interested in cost/benefit issues (factoring in the value of recreation and ecology). Perhaps some combination of approaches may finally emerge. We certainly believe that any long term plan should include a phase in which the tunnel is removed from the beach.

Finally, SPUR has also extended comment period on the draft Ocean Beach Master Plan. If you have not yet added your input, there is still time. Please visit http://www.spur.org/ocean-beach There are a lot of changes being proposed for the entire beach. It behooves all of us to weigh in. Comment period ends February 29th. Thank you!