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.


Friday, June 1, 2012

Sand Replenishment Returns!


Sand cleared from the Great Highway makes its way to south Sloat.

Dear Surfriders and Friends,

We have great news to report.  After talking with SFDPW and PUC,  we have gotten word that sand now being recovered from clearing the Great Highway and the O'shaughnessy Esplanade area will be trucked down to the erosion area south of Sloat. See SF Examiner. Additionally, SFPUC is set to work with other agencies over the next several months to ensure this kind of sand management action occurs much more regularly and without delay.

We applaud the City for this kind of action. This sand would have normally been pushed right back onto the beach.  Instead, it will now be used to cover some of the construction debris south of Sloat.  Some of it will also be used for building a sand ladder access to the beach.  While the amount of sand recovered will be fairly modest, and will eventually get washed away, it  does bring much needed relief to the Sloat area shoreline.  We hope this scenario will highlight the need to embrace a sustainable long term plan asap.

On that front, we are still awaiting the schedule/details for the feasibility study of the SPUR proposal.  The planning agency is hosting an Ocean Beach Master Plan public open house and special exhibit Wednesday June 6, at 6pm at the SPUR Urban Center 654 Mission Street (between 2nd-3rd St.).  See OBMP Open House  We encourage all interested to attend and have one final look at the Master plan before it is officially released (now slated for July). Thanks for checking in and staying engaged.