Sunday, February 13, 2011

Reefs, Seawalls, Sand and Solana Beach

I am very lucky to live in Solana Beach. Fletcher Cove shown below is the widest beach in Solana Beach. It is where the cliff has eroded the most leaving a wide beach where the cliff used to be.

On the north end of town is Tabletops Reef. It formed when the cliffs eroded. I love surfing this spot and do it several times a week.

As my son and I walked from the north end of Solana Beach, home to Tabletops, to Fletcher Cove, we see the result of poor planning and poor policy. We have a near continuous seawall built in my son's short 11 year lifetime. These seawalls will kill formation of beaches in his lifetime and the continued formation of reefs. Erosion makes beaches and reefs. Seawalls kill reefs and beaches. Pretty simple stuff.

Here we see construction underway of the latest seawall. Built with rebar and tiebacks that go 60 feet into publicly owned bluffs. It looks so natural as required by the permit.

We have only a few areas where there is no seawall north of Fletcher Cove. Here is one spot just north of the new wall.

If you want to learn more about how beaches really form:
If you want to make a difference, join Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter's Beach Preservation Campaign.


  1. Replies
    1. No. He is not. The cliffs behind the sea walls are made of sandstone. Without the natural erosion of that sandstone, the beaches will not naturally widen. Also, that area is currently experiencing a sand depletion. It is costing Solana Beach lots and lots of money to dredge and place new sand just to keep that which we already have. Also, due to sand depletion, we are losing some amazing paleontological samples at Dog Beach. Just in case you are going to call me a liar too, Gary, that means fossils. And yes, there are 48 million year old lagoonal fossils at Dog Beach. Dont believe me? Which one of us just did an entire project trying to get to the bottom of what is eroding them? I don't think you did. Because had you done any research at all, you would know that there are, in fact, dredging projects about to go on at Fletcher cove and in the surrounding area. (Thank you SANDAG!) You would also know that, although that project will not affect Dog Beach, another one by SCE was just finished. 100 million dollars into dredging the San Dieguito Lagoon. However, this project was not geared towards sand replenishment. It did place some sand along the beach, but what it really did was get fish and birds back into the lagoon. But that means that the lagoon was cleared. So how many possibilities does that leave for the cause of our expensive sand problem? One, Gary. Just one. The sand that falls naturally from the sandstone cliffs (Torrey Sandstone). And why is the sand not falling? I bet you guessed right! Sea walls. Now, I am not suggesting we tear down the sea walls. There are homes built on top of them. We dont want those crumbling. However, I do ask that you accept that there is a problem here. That is all I ask.

  2. so its ok to cover up the reefs and tide pools with sand and completely change the surf breaks.