Sloat Restoration through Managed Retreat

Sloat Restoration through Managed Retreat
This is our original vision for Sloat Restoration - graphic courtesy of PSA and Associates and the Ocean Beach Task Force

Our Vision of Beach Restoration and Preservation

The shorelines of Ocean Beach south of Sloat Blvd and Sharp Park in Pacifica are threatened by rip-rap seawallls and long-term erosion. This blog chronicles our campaign efforts to restore these beaches. Check out the web view of this site to see our proposed solutions and how to help- in the right hand column below. For all the latest about our efforts, see our monthly posts.

We advocate a managed retreat strategy to restore both Ocean Beach south of Sloat and Sharp Park.

At Sloat, our vision involves:

A long-term plan to relocate threatened infrastructure
(including the south of Sloat Great Highway, the two oceanside parking lots and the sewer lines underneath them).

The cleanup of all the rock and rubble littering the beach.

The use of sand dunes as the primary tool to slow erosion.

For Sharp Park, we advocate the decommissioning of the golf course, the removal of the rip-rap berm, and a full restoration of the wetland.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Erosion of Our Nation's Coastlines: Surfrider Chapters Fight to Preserve Our Beaches

The Blight of Coastal Armor: Texas Gulf Coast  Photo: Ellis Pickett

According to Ellis, the degraded seawall in the photo is only the latest armoring scheme to protect these homes.The jagged remnants of the original seawall are now submerged somewhere out  in the surf zone. See Texas Chapter link.

Greetings Surfriders and Friends,

While we await the next opportunity to press our case for restoring the Sloat and the Sharp Park area shoreline, we thought it would be a good time to check in on other erosion campaigns led by the Surfrider Foundation (see links below).

NEW! Martin's Beach at Half Moon Bay is now armored
Highway 1 Princeton / Half Moon Bay erosion/armoring/fill project
Goleta Beach armoring / managed retreat plan:
Ventura's C-Street (Surfer's Point) erosion / managed retreat project
Solana Beach and north county seawall / fill projects (San Diego County)

Gulf Coast:
Texas beach erosion, armor, and public access law

East Coast:
Jersey Shore beach fill and post-Sandy challenges:
Palm Beach Florida armoring and fill
Cocoa Beach post fill surf break monitoring

Nearly all the campaigns share a common story-line:

Shoreline development is built without respect for the consequences of long term erosion patterns.  When the surf zone eventually threatens such development, the first reaction is to place revetments or sea walls to be used as defense.  At a certain point, when the beaches become almost entirely submerged, sand nourishment projects are used.

Usually, the armoring and sand replenishment projects buy time, restoring the beaches for a limited period. However, eventually the sand and/or shoreline access disappears under the ever encroaching surfline. A crisis or emergency typically occurs when a large storm moves in, wipes out the beach, and brings a new round of damage to remaining structures.

As we know, this just reignites the cycle.  New, "improved" armoring/beach nourishment projects are built that end up with the same result - limited, short term success at high cost.  Unfortunately, more than a few of these armoring/nourishment sites have also threatened the quality of our surfbreaks.

We say it is time to update coastal zoning plans so as to spread the use of long term strategies based on managed retreat.  With long term planning that allows for shorelines to migrate inland, we can both preserve the integrity of our nation's coastlines and avoid a parade of expensive engineering projects.