If you’ve been a South Coast resident for any amount of time, you’ve probably enjoyed a picnic at Goleta Beach or a stroll along its pier at some point. But the beloved park has suffered erosion troubles for some time, and what to do about it remains a heated issue.
The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors is expected to weigh in Tuesday on the beach’s erosion issues.
The 29-acre park has been the victim of several severe El Nino storms from 1982 to 2002, and erosion has resulted. The two options most often considered to deal with the erosion have been a permeable pile groin and that of managed retreat.
The first option would place a series of underwater pilings along the Goleta pier that would trap sand traveling with the currents. The second would facilitate a managed retreat of park facilities as erosion continues.
In July, the Coastal Commission voted 9-1 against the county’s application to install a permeable pile groin of the beach’s coastline, what they termed the Coastal Access and Recreation Enhancement, or CARE project.
According to county staff reports, several commissioners encouraged the county to consider managed retreat of the beach or park reconfiguration.
Supervisors will be asked to approve a “Goleta Beach 2.0” plan, which represents a second attempt to come up a with a plan the Coastal Commission would approve.
Goleta Beach 2.0 represents a massive undertaking, an eight-month-long schedule of meetings and at least one public forum.
In response, the county is launching a detailed analysis of conditions at the park, and even will electronically map the entire park. The staff also has started discussions with some of the utility companies that operate at Goleta beach, including gas, reclaimed water and wastewater.
The staff also will meet with coastal staff in Ventura as they work through reconfiguration options, as any action the county takes could have potential effects on its southern coastal neighbors.
The county has said it won’t need additional staff to conduct the project, but that $15,000 will be needed to pay for the mapping.
Tuesday’s meeting will be at 9 a.m. in the Board Hearing Room, on the fourth floor of the County Administration Building, 105 E. Anapamu St. in Santa Barbara.
— Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at email@example.com.