Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Different ideas for controlling erosion of Pacifica's coast floated at workshop

Updated:   11/20/2012 05:03:47 PM PS

Terms such as "managed retreat" and "beach nourishment" became talking points last Wednesday at a workshop attended by Pacificans and residents of neighboring communities who came out to express their opinions about how to manage erosion problems on the coast.

A study organized by the Estuary Partnership in conjunction with the Association of Bay Area Governments is being done to see how coastal erosion can be controlled. Pacifica is part of the so-called San Francisco Littoral Cell study, which focuses on the stretch of coast from here all the way up to San Francisco.

The idea is to plan for sediment management over the next 50 years, taking into account current conditions as well as projected sea level rise and extraordinary events such as a 100-year storm.

Bob Battalio, principal engineer on the study, examined Pacifica's problem spots, including the seawall at Sharp Park that abuts the golf course. He explained how, in years past, that section of Sharp Park beach was wider before the seawall was constructed.

"Are we going to armor our shores and lose beaches?" he asked, showing a cartoon drawing of a sad child forced to walk on rocks instead of sand.

Battalio said the best approach for that section would be a managed retreat, in which the seawall is allowed to fail so the beach eventually can restore itself.

Linda Mar Beach is a perfect example of a managed retreat because some structures were removed there, enabling the
beach to widen.

Bill McGlochlin , a member of the Surfrider Foundation, said the group would support any plan that protects the beaches as much as possible.

Ideas offered included beach nourishment, which involves trucking large quantities of sand that is redeposited out at sea. It has the effect of reducing the wave action on shore


Posted by Steve Sinai


Perdition said...

Be afraid. Be very afraid, Pacifica.

Anonymous said...

Somewhat related, I read that after Hurricane Sandy some NJ beaches were 30-40 feet narrower. We don't have hurricanes but a real 100 year storm might do similar damage on our unstable bluffs and beaches. Hillsides are vulnerable, too. In 30 years in Pacifica, including the disatrous winter of 1982, I've never had less confidence in the city's ability to respond to a disaster.

Larry said...

The plan calls for "managed retreat" at Linda Mar Beach and the Sharp Park berm. Managed retreat is code word for do nothing. There goes the golf course and Taco Bell!
Battalio wrote the report for Wild Equity and now he's writing for ABAG. The map of Pacifica beaches in this report is the same one he did for Wild Equity.
I am afraid!

Anonymous said...

What's the alternative?

Anonymous said...

Oh say it isn't so, not the Taco Bell.

Anonymous said...

The retaining walls want to be sea walls at Beach Blvd and the apartment sites are moving sand and making sand build up in areas and takes it away from other areas. Same is being done in Rockaway. Rockaway beach was huge in the 50's. Now you can only walk from the north to south ends at low tide.

Even more troubling is the city's ability to pay for damage that will happen in a 100 or 200 year storm.

Anonymous said...

Digre says the city will be underwater in 20 years anyway.

Anonymous said...

For a "shocking" idea of just how much erosion has occurred at Pacifica beaches, suggest that someone pull an archive photo from the Tribune or perhaps the PHS of Rockaway Beach in 1912 and print it again. In 1912, the beach extended all the way to the outer cliffs. I imagine that given a low enough time, it was likely possible to walk along the sand around the Rockaway bluff over to the now LInda Mar beach.

Erosion from the Ocean is unstoppable regardless of the rip rap or seawalls/ I believe that numerous reliable studies have shown that rip rap and seawall installations along our coastline only serve to direct the wave energy elsewhere and expedite natural erosion downstream.

We ain't gonna win this one, folks; only nature will.

Anonymous said...

Has the city done/contracted for recent geological studies on the OWWTP site? Were the findings made public or should we expect another letter exchange? Plenty of casual evidence of instability and erosion over the years along that stretch of Beach Blvd.