Sunday, July 22 , 2018, 4:33 am | Fair 66º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Goleta Council Backs Pilings Plan to Slow Beach Park Erosion

Members will send a letter to the California Coastal Commission in support of semipermeable pilings

The Goleta City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to send a letter to the California Coastal Commission in favor of the permeable piling solution proposed to slow erosion at Goleta Beach.

Originally part of the Goleta Slough, Goleta Beach Park receives more than 1 million visitors each year. As a partially man-made environment, the park has been subject to the forces that created the slough. This leads to severe erosion, as currents pick up sand and deposit it south to places such as the Santa Barbara Harbor, which spends $1.5 million a year to dredge up the same sand.

In the past decade, groups have clashed over what exactly to do with the beach. El Nino storms took out both sand and the underwater kelp in the nearby waters that protected the shore. Environmentalists called for a managed retreat, which would allow the waves to take back the shore, while moving utilities and other infrastructure back, away from the water. Those interested in saving the beach — including the county and the owners and patrons of the restaurant inside the park — advocate more permanent solutions, such as the rock wall the county installed as an emergency measure.

One solution will be the subject of a California Coastal Commission in hearing early July, and would entail installing a semipermeable series of pilings at the eastern end of the Goleta Pier to trap the sand and create a barrier from the flow of sand. The project includes the removal of the rock wall.

One project skeptic told the council that the pilings may not be enough, and that the rock wall should stay. Dr. Dan Secord, once a member of the commission, tried to drum up support for his idea.

“I’m trying to get the commissioners to understand that the notion of leaving those rocks in there to protect that beach has value,” he said.

The council balked at the idea of explicitly mentioning the rock wall in its letter of support, but voted 5-0 to support the permeable pilings. Even though Goleta Beach Park is not within the city’s jurisdiction, it is a top destination for local residents.

“It’s the only park we’ve got for access to the beach,” said Councilman Michael Bennett.

Noozhawk staff writer Sonia Fernandez can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >