Wednesday, June 30, 2010

State Park General Plan Prohibited Seawall in 1983, City Complains in 2010

Encinitas tried to get a seawall approved and funded by taxpayers at Beacon's Beach. They spent $500,000 to study it. They produced a Draft EIR that said the impacts of the seawall would block access to the beach and impact recreation.

Even worse, they neglected to obey the General Plan of Leucadia State Beach home of Beacons in proposing the seawall alternative in the first place.
It is hard to understand which part of the General Plan Policy "Seawalls shall not be constructed on the State Beach." they did not understand? Maybe that was confused with the Policy that said "The state owned cliff-faces at Leucadia State Beach shall not be fortified with retaining walls."
In 2003, Surfrider Foundation asked the City to pursue alternatives to the seawall to improve access to Beacons. In 2006, we submitted public comment arguing the impacts and issues with the seawall consistent with the General Plan and results of the DEIR.
It is funny to watch the politicians point fingers when they waste the taxpayers money and worse missed a 9 year window to design the right project for Beacons. We told them in 2003 and again 2006 as well and they ignored us.
I am adding a summary I made in my comments to the DEIR in 2006 to show what we tried to do:
"In summary, it would be ill advised under such circumstances to recommend alternatives that require a statement of overriding considerations such as the seawall alternative. The environmentally superior alternative with stairs, some sand replenishment and relocation should be further refined and studied. I am available to help study such an alternative. Surfrider Foundation has offered as far back as the meeting held 6/04/03 (Schmidt Design Group Meeting Notes available on City website) to help with a softer solution than proposed. At that meeting the City stated that soft solutions could garner the state funding required to improve Beacon’s Beach yet no effort has been made to pursue such an alternative in earnest.

Thank you for your consideration of these comments. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Jim Jaffee"

Monday, June 28, 2010

No Seawall at Beacon's

In 2001, California State Parks awarded a grant to the city of Encinitas to protect the bluff and parking area. The city went forward with plans to build a seawall, but were cautioned by the state to design an alternative to a sea wall. The city maintains that the only alternative is a sea wall, but the Parks withdrew funding for the project citing the state policy against seawalls. I've been having a hard time tracking down where this policy is written (maybe someone can help me?). Anyway, it seems to me that the State Park's policy on seawalls would have been established before 2001, and therefore silly that they would approve this grant in the first place. But, overall it's one less seawall (for now).

I've surfed Beacon's once in the last 5 years. The trail to the beach was pretty poor shape, but I didn't feel that it was more unsafe then the trail down to Black's or other cliff accessed beaches in San Diego.
Article from the UT:
Beach is left in the lurch as state vetoes sea wall -

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Waiter, There's a Metal Rod in My Sand

Jim has been doing a great job with the blog. Just wanted to pass along an article from the about the desperation of Imperial Beach to get money for sand projects.
Waiter, There's a Metal Rod in My Sand

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Artifical Reef in Solana Beach - Surfing May or May Not be Addressed

Surfers tend to get excited when they hear the buzzwords "artificial reef". They get visions of the local hotspot turning into Pipeline or J-Bay. So far the jury is still out if artificial reefs will make great waves as well as impacts they may have on the shoreline.

However, surfers and beachgoers should exercise extreme caution when dealing with these project. The City of Solana Beach is proposing an artificial reef at Fletcher Cove in conjunction with the Army Corps of Engineers. I would caution my friends in the surf community on this project and luckily Councilman Mike Nichols has taken a cautious approach to embracing this proposal.

Here is one reason I am worried and I would think Councilman Nichols is as well:

"Secondary objectives that may or may not be addressed in the study included the need to develop a design that is efficient, enhances surfing, and enhances offshore habitat."

The above quote comes from the report on the project.

The real aim of the project is in the report:

"A stabilization structure, such as a multi-purpose reef could be used to retain sediment, attenuate beach loss, provide storm damage reduction, and maximize benefits of ongoing and future beach nourishment projects. This type of structure could also mitigate for recreational impacts while avoiding potential impacts to adjacent natural habitats."

There you have might save some sand from going down to Del Mar and then past there to fall into the canyon off Black's never to be seen again, but what happens to your surf break at Fletcher Cove or the Beach Breaks in Del Mar?

Also, one proposed version of the sandbag reef will have the bags exposed at low tide and visible from the beach.

Information on this project can be found at:

Send your comments on the Artificial Reef Proposed Design to:

Ms. Leslea Meyerhoff, AICP. Project Manager, City of Solana Beach, 635 South Highway 101, Solana Beach, CA, 92075. Comments can also be sent by facsimile to 858-720-2448 or by email to:

If you want guidance on how to deal with this type of project here is a suggested list of criteria:

•If it is determined that a given intervention can have a net retarding effect on sand loss, it should be implemented only if there is no significant adverse impact to the following:
–Surfing conditions
–Sand supply to other beaches in the littoral cell
–Public beach access
–Lagoons and estuaries
–Off-shore marine life
–Water quality
–Coastline aesthetics

See this paper for more information: Dynamics of Beach Sand

Monday, June 7, 2010

Seawalls and Oil Spills

It is interesting to examine the parallels that exist between the environmental nightmare of the Deepwater Horizon and the Seawalls Built in Solana Beach. The best thing about this oil spill, is it got people motivated to stop drilling and hopefully gets them thinking of how to not use oil.
My guess is most people will do nothing about the seawall issue until there are no beaches to go to. You will have concrete and water. Nowhere to walk, not even if you are shore bird.
Just like an oil spill seawalls are an accident waiting to happen. If you want to stop the seawall accident, get involved before the bulldozers are rolling on the beach.
I hope this helps get someone into the fight.