Goleta Beach vs. Winter Swells, CA

Goleta Beach vs. Winter Swells, CA

Goleta Beach, California. Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


Goleta Beach County Park is still a muddy mess, three weeks after heavy surf clawed out a big chunk of parkland, displaced benches and barbecue grills, undermined the pier, and, for good measure, ripped out a $350,000 barrier of plastic mesh that had been stacked against the bluffs last spring.

Piles of kelp, logs, and mangled plastic have been hauled away, and work crews are shoring up the Goleta Pier landing. The excavators have finished dropping boulders along 950 feet of beach, filling in the gaps between older rock barricades, and lengthening the whole structure by a third. The $275,000 project was the best way to protect the beloved picnic tables and 600 free parking spaces of the county’s most heavily used park, officials said.

“The county has exhausted a lot of emergency options, and that’s where we’ve ended up,” said Brian Yanez, who took over as deputy parks director last fall.

Environmentalists say the new boulders have obliterated the last bit of Goleta Beach that was available for public use, except at very low tide. For about the 20th time in as many years, the county is transporting more sand to the beach this week ​— ​about 300 truckloads from creek catch basins. If past experience is any guide, it won’t last long.

As the climate warms, extended droughts and extreme surf may increasingly threaten the California coast, scientists say. This is the third winter in four years that Goleta Beach Park has taken a beating in the winter swells. Even behind the boulders, the park bluff is retreating…

Read Full Article, Santa Barbara Independent (03-10-2017)

Sand Berm May Not Be Enough to Protect Goleta Beach from Winter El Niño Storms, Noozhawk (12-08-2015)

Beach Bashing; UCSB Current News (02-14-2017)
New research conducted by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists and their colleagues at UC Santa Barbara and six other institutions found that during the 2015-16 El Niño winter beach erosion on the Pacific coast was 76 percent above normal, and that most beaches in California eroded beyond historical extremes…

Severe West Coast Erosion During 2015-16 El Niño; USGS (02-14-2017)

Goleta Beach, California
An ongoing problem concerning Goleta Beach is coastal erosion; sand and sediment is constantly being washed away and the beach is narrowing…

Storm Waves Crash Through Wharf Restaurant, California, Keyt News (03-01-2014)

Comments on Goleta Beach Project Coastal Development Permit
Open Letter from Dr. Orrin Pilkey, James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Geology Duke University presented to the California Coastal Commission, May 5, 2015.

City of Santa Barbara Sea-Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment: A summary Report, By Nicole L. Russell and Gary B. Griggs, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz (06-04-2014)
Gobal sea level is rising. As a result, many coastal communities will face tough choices for adapting to the future conditions and/or dealing with the consequences. The city of Santa Barbara faces a dilemma: Protect oceanfront development and infrastructure or remove barriers and let beaches migrate inland…

Iconic Refugio Beach Palms May Soon Be History; Noozhawk (02-21-2016)
Refugio State Beach is one of the true gems of the Gaviota Coast, California. Statuesque palm trees lining the cove give a distinctive and majestic look to the area. But over the past few winters, those iconic palm trees have gotten closer and closer to the tide line, because of a severe lack of sand on the beach…

Stay or go? Some towns are eyeing retreat from sea, AP (06-02-2012)
Pounded by erosion, some communities hugging California’s shoreline are eyeing a retreat from the sea. There’s a growing acknowledgement that the sea is relentless and erosion will worsen with rising seas fueled by global warming. Up and down the California coast, some communities are deciding it’s not worth trying to wall off the encroaching ocean. Until recently, the thought of bowing to nature was almost unheard of…

Californians Fight Over Whether Coast Should Be Rugged or Refined, The New York Times (02-09-2016)

We Need to Retreat From the Beach, An Op Ed by Orrin H. Pilkey.

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