Saturday, April 22, 2017

New Sloat Petition / Public LCP Meeting May 2

The Sloat erosion area was battered by winter storms this year.  
Thankfully, no rock armor was added onto the beach. 
The pre-winter sand replenishment project may have helped in this regard.

Greetings Surfriders,

Happy Earth Day! 

As the Restore Sloat campaign hits the final stretch, we have a new petition for all to sign.

The purpose is to underscore our goals for Sloat restoration as the City finalizes the details of its erosion control project for the area. The design will be based upon the recommendations found in the Ocean Beach Master Plan.  We will continue to call for maximizing relocation of all threatened structures, even the Lake Merced Tunnel. The more beach area that we can secure for restoration, the greater the chance we have to maintain a sandy shoreline for the future.

More News: SF Planning has just added a public workshop for the LCP amendment May 2 6-8pm at the Ortega Library (3223 Ortega Street at 39th Ave). Please attend if you can.  There may be a discussion regarding south of Sloat road consolidation and realignment as well as options for temporary parking. 

Thanks for checking in!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Managed Retreat Phase 1 Announced!

Managed retreat for Sloat is officially on the way.
Greetings Surfriders,

We are pleased to announce that Phase 1 of the Ocean Beach Master Plan's managed retreat strategy has been announced. It appears on San Francisco Recreation and Park's website. This is a significant milestone for the Restore Sloat Campaign as it is the first public recognition that the City is indeed looking to embrace the Master Plan recommendations. As you may recall, the first move of the Ocean Beach Master Plan includes the consolidation and realignment of the road away from the water (on the landward side of the berm), and the construction of temporary parking. A walking trail is also slated to be installed. Details TBA. We'll let you know when the public can weigh in on the specific elements in this project.

Meanwhile, the LCP amendment hearing at SF Planning has been postponed until June 8th.  Please stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Sharp Park / LCP Action Report

A glimpse of Sloat restoration appears at the north parking lot.

Greetings Surfriders,

We have success to report for Sharp Park!  SF Rec. and Park agreed to drop some of the golf course flood control measures from the Significant Natural Resources Area Management Plan's Final Environmental Impact Report (SNRAMP FEIR).  In kind, Surfrider along with the coalition lead by Wild Equity withdrew our appeal of the document. Thank you once again to all who sent in comment letters or attended the hearing at the SF Board of Supervisors.

Look for continued efforts to restore the Sharp Park wetland in the future.  By removing the need for a seawall, we can protect the last wide stretch of beach in north Pacifica.   

Update re: SF Rec. and Park's seawall issue.  The Coastal Commission has set June 18, 2017, as a deadline to rule on the fate of the city's response to justifying the 2013 revetment "maintenance" work (see March 2013 blog post for story).  We'll report on the verdict when we get the news. 

Restore Sloat Update: LCP Amendment Introduced at SF Planning Commission

On March 2nd, SF Planning initiated their draft amendment for updating zoning plans for erosion management south of Sloat and greater Ocean Beach.  We will continue to ask for a clear language for removing rubble and using long term managed retreat planning for Ocean Beach. Without additional space for the beach to migrate landward, sand dune nourishment cannot be effective. Sea level rise and climate change will bring accelerated erosion. Thanks to all who have sent in comments on this very important document.  Look for another round of public commentary on the LCP Adoption Hearing April 13th.  For more details, see SF Planning's LCP Amendment website. We'll have more to say on this in next month's post.

Thanks for checking in...

Thursday, February 16, 2017

New BOS Hearing for Sharp Park / LCP Hearing at SF Planning

The beautiful beach fronting Sharp Park golf course
Photo (B. McLaughlin)

Greetings Surfriders and Friends,

The hearing to affirm the Sharp Park portion of the SNRAMP EIR is now scheduled at the SF Board of Supervisors for Tuesday February 28th at 3pm. Again, we are asking that the Board order the Sharp Park golf renovation plans to be removed from the Significant Natural Resource Areas Management Plan's Final Environmental Impact Report (SNRAMP FEIR).

The main reason we are asking for this is because golf course flood control projects have no place in a Natural Areas Plan EIR.  An 18-hole golf course is not a natural area.

The golf course renovation work are flood control measures, which are part of a system that includes a protective berm/seawall found on the beach (see pic above).  Seawalls are a threat to the fast eroding beaches of Pacifica.  They have wreaked enough havoc to the town's shoreline.  For erosion facts and seawall impacts to the beach, please see page 13 of the scientific report done on the golf course watershed:

If you cannot make the hearing on the 28th, please head to our coalition partners at the Sierra Club SF Bay Chapter.  They have a great letter writing page. Please personalize your letter by highlighting your concern about the beach.  Feel free to copy and paste the following into the letter writing template: "As a member of the Surfrider Foundation, I oppose the golf course flood control work in this EIR. The flood control work found in this document relies in part an engineered system for the wetland which includes a seawall like structure on the beach.  Flood control at Sharp Park has widespread and significant long term impacts to the shoreline. Any such renovation work should be taken up in a separate EIR."

Finally, SF Planning is due to take up the draft LCP amendment for Sloat on March 2nd at 12pm. Agenda item time is still TBA. Please send a letter if you cannot make it! (see Maggie Wenger email address below). Help us reinforce our call for an erosion plan that leads to beach restoration and infrastructure security by means of managed retreat.

We need folks to especially point out that the draft should be amended to allow for the relocation of the road and parking lot to be done in 2 phases.  The current version at SF Planning does not include this.  Phase one should commence asap. hi Remove the curve in the road south of Sloat and re-align each of the lanes (1 northbound  / 1 southbound) onto the furthest landward side of the bluff.  Then, build new temporary parking until the long-term plan is ready for construction.  With initial relocation of the road and parking we can avoid new emergency armoring, protect our vehicle infrastructure now, open up safer and saner parking, and reduce emergency road closures.

Again, if you cannot make the hearing, please send a letter to SF Planning:

Thanks again for your participation and interest!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Birth of the Restore Sloat Campaign: 1997-1998 El Niño and a Cycle of Wet WInters

Greetings Surfriders,

Sharp Park News: Briefly, we have news that the appeal hearing at the Board of Supervisors for the Sharp Park issue will take place on February 28th.  Look for a blog post with more details as we get closer to the hearing. 

Recently, it has been noted in news reports that this winter storm season has been the wettest since the 1997-1998 El Niño. We would like to point out that the 97-98 event was actually the culmination of a series of wet winters.  We may be in a similar cycle right now.

History does have a way of repeating itself.  This month we would like to reflect back to those wet years of the latter 1990's and how this whole campaign got started.

The erosion disaster at Sloat began during the winter of 1994-1995.  Before that year, Ca was locked in a series of drought years.  Surfers remember those years well as drought years deliver long stretches of world class surf to Ocean Beach. 

As the second half of the 1990's went on, wet weather began to dominate winter conditions again.  At Sloat, storms started striping sand away from the newly replenished beach and bluff.  In order to protect the road and the sewer infrastructure from the encroaching surf, SFDPW constructed the giant quarry stone revetment we now see between the north and south parking lots. Erosion and blight then began to spread to the adjacent areas, sparking the birth of this campaign.


Circa 1993
This is Sloat's north parking lot after the sewer and road renovation project.  The parking lot was completely refurbished, with a landscaped bluff and a sandy beach.


1997-1998 El Niño

Five years later, this is what remained of the beach and the same landscaped bluff.  It has always been Surfrider's contention that infrastructure built during the 1980's was placed too close to the sea south of Sloat.  This is why we are calling for a managed retreat solution. Sand replenishment in front of the infrastructure has been ineffective  (The 2008 date is the year the photos were copyrighted). Photo Credit: Bob Battalio, PWA and Associates

Below is the chronology of the 1999's era erosion cycle.  Citation: Army Corps of Engineers Ocean Beach Storm Damage Protection Project page 55, Table 3-1of the 3.1 Sediment Transport Processes Update section.

1994/1995 Storm
The bluff edge retreated 30 to 40 feet between the two parking lots, and somewhat less elsewhere in the reach south of Sloat Blvd.

1996/1997 Storm
Precipitation runoff and wave action formed numerous erosion gullies in the bluff face. In March

1997, one storm formed a gully extending to the beach that eroded the bluff to within 15 feet of the highway in the area between the two parking lots

Fall 1997 Toe protection (A small Emergency Quarrystone Revetment) placed between the 2 parking lots as an interim measure to protect the bluff against storms.

1997/1998 Storm
Loss of sand from the beach south of Sloat Blvd. resulted in extensive erosion of the bluffs. In some areas, beach elevations were lowered 10-15 feet compared to their summer/early fall elevations. The bluff edge retreated up to 30 feet in the unprotected areas at the south end of Sloat Lot. Another Emergency Quarrystone Revetment placed in February 1998 between the 2 parking lots in response to the large storms.
The bluff edge protected by the EQR retreated only 2-6 feet in localized areas between the two parking lots. Along the South Lot, bluff edges retreated 0-16 feet and there was an overall oversteepening of the bluff slope, making it likely that future wave undercutting would result in more extensive bluff erosion.

1998/1999 Storm
The bluff edge retreated approximately 50 feet in places along the section of beach from the south end of South Lot to Funston Cliffs. Bluff slopes have been over-steepened along the entire reach and are more susceptible to slope failure and wave undercutting. Bluff slopes above the toe are 40 to 70 degrees or more. The slope of the face of the bluff south of South Lot was nearly vertical in places following the erosion in early 1999

October 1999 Approximately 20,000 cubic yards of sand placed along a 370-foot-long reach of the bluffs south of South Lot to form a temporary sand barrier

January 2001 12,000 CY of sand placed at the sand barrier again, in response to a loss of almost half of the sand between Oct ’99 and Apr ‘00

2000/2001 Storm
All of the sand placed in Jan 2001, plus about 17 feet of the original sand barrier eroded away. The bluff south of the barrier eroded back by 7 to 13 feet.