The future of Ocean Beach: dangerous debris piles or natural sandy beach?

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Mark writes: What do we want the southern part of Ocean Beach to be like in the future? Do we want an industrialized beach cluttered with chunks of broken sidewalks and old pavement, or do we want a place where careful management allows for surfing, fishing or simply walking along the shore? It’s time to choose.

The California Coastal Commission recently struck an important blow in the struggle over the future of Ocean Beach by rejecting an unwise and ineffective plan to dump more rubble onto the sandy beach in an ultimately counterproductive attempt to protect nearby wastewater infrastructure.

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Broseidon
2 years ago

I've actually grown quite fond of the r0ck dance getting down on that end. Trying to toughen up my haole feet for the reefs.

fatnewt
2 years ago

The problem as I see it is that this particular stretch of coastline is currently retreating fairly actively. If they do a poorly planned armoring of the beach (this is what's going on now), without taking into account the full amount of energy being dissipated in that zone, then it is either undermined or leads to the acceleration of beach depletion immediately N0rth or s0uth. The problem with letting nature run its course is 1)the realignment of sewage and infrastructure to allow the retreat and/or 2) a fairly vigorous and ongoing beach replenishment plan with a lot of sand (I'd also like to see a lot of cobble, but that would probably be pricey). The beach constantly evolves and it would be interesting to compare rates of retreat for different stretches of beach going back as long as you could. For instance, when they had the pier there did it hold sand? Maybe it makes sense to put in a little pier there. Structure would hold sand, could make the break awesome, they could fish off it,beach usage goes up, and everyone wins. Throw a 150 yd pier in, dump a bunch of smooth cobble in n0rth and s0uth (50-100 tons?). Maybe that solves the coastal erosion problem and you don't have to dump a couple of truckloads of sand several times a year forever. I know the ATV that cruises around is getting GPS readings, anyone have that data yet? They've been doing it for a while. Too often the short term costs get in the way of planning something that might benefit everyone. A little more thought and a better long term understanding of the forces involved will benefit everybody. BUT even with the best plans you can't engineer for a 1000 year storm. At best you'd get something engineered for a 100 year storm (probably?), so you're going to lose almost any structure that you build, sometimes. The reason that the newer walls failed in Katrina, as opposed to the ones built by the Army Corps in the 40s and 50s, was that they loosened up the maximum storm event engineering parameters. The overtopping might still have occurred, but the wall failures initially occurred on newer walls where they saved a few bucks, which just isn't worth it.

Broseidon
2 years ago

Would a jetty system be feasible at all? Then we could have a little piece of Newport up here!

Or when BART upgrades their trains, we could toss the decommissioned carts into the ocean for a artificial reef.

fatnewt
2 years ago

Jetties almost always lead to sand accretion on one side and depletion on the other, so it would still require lots of sand to be moved around. Train reef could be sweet. Then You could dissipate the energy offshore. Could be kinda rough to bounce off of one of those in DOH surf, though. Here's a cool list of socal artificial reefs with some pictures of all the sea life on some of them: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/artificialreefs/index.asp

Billsf
2 years ago

Hi Guys,

Surfrider SF has just put out an updated Managed Retreat Plan for ######. http://www.######erosionob.blogspot.com Right now, the SPUR led Ocean Beach Master Plan (OBMP) is drawing up the initial draft Master Plan. http://spur.org/ocean-beach SPUR has a lot of clout with city leaders. This document will recommend a long term solution for ######. We are busy tyring to lobby the Steering Committee of the OBMP right now. I have just met with Carmen Chu's office and plan to meet with Sean Elsbernd on Monday. If any of you guys want to help, please send an email to either of these two key supervisors. Carmen.Chu@sfgov.org, Sean.Elsbernd@sfgov.org Our contention is that the only way to restore the beach at ###### is to move the highway and sewer transport box out of the way. Then, a larger sand dune barrier (with proper access trails) can be constructed in its place. Thanks!

wizard
2 years ago

Read the book "Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth"

Sandman
2 years ago

funny theres no mention in any of those reports of the San Andreas Fault going right through there. So the underlying rock is all crumbly "fault gauge" that is inherently erosion prone, not to mention moving every time there's a quake on the fault
http://www.usgs.gov/themes/FS-248-96/
Basically Mother Nature wants Lake Merced to go to the sea. That would make for some interesting bar formation and wrap around waves!
And no matter what engineering anyone does, Mother Nature will win in the end
See for instance "Control of Nature" by John McPhee

pelicanpaul
2 years ago

It is pretty ridiculous how gnarly sl0at is. Here we are in one of the wealthiest places on the planet and welcome to the beach.. I mean watch out for that rusting rebar. I did not know that they were dumping concrete there... thought that was just the parking lot falling into the ocean. Any plan has to be one that does not try to control the area but adapting to it. Retreat!!!!

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