Sunday, May 27 , 2018, 4:43 am | Fair 53º


Captain’s Log: Big Work Underway to Save Goleta Beach

Recent storms did a number on county park

Base of pier at Goleta Beach County Park needed fortification and got it.
Base of pier at Goleta Beach County Park needed fortification and got it. (Capt. David Bacon)

The big storm a couple of Fridays ago did some serious damage to Goleta Beach County Park. Rapid decisions were made and aggressive work got underway immediately to save what was left of the park. That work continues, but the park (with the exception of the pier) is still open.

From my vantage of the Hook, Line & Sinker fishing center bait and tackle shop on the pier, the visuals were wild as the storm raged.

Water was gushing and spraying from between the deck planks as large, powerful storm waves shivered the timbers of the popular pier causing it to sway and shake. During the damaging storm the pier suffered infrastructure damage and power was shut off.

I was heartily impressed because by the very next day trucks were arriving with big quarry rocks and heavy equipment was moving them into place to make a breakwater to protect what was left of the grassy area and save the parking lots.

Those rocks were also being used to fortify the base of the pier, which suffered some undermining by the heavy surf.

There is something to smile about through this. At high tides, waves are rolling right into Goleta Slough, creating one of the best opportunities I can remember for fish to swim right into that prime spawning habitat and get to their reproductive business.

We get relatively few such powerful damaging storms like that one but we know they are coming now and then. Had this work been done much sooner, the beach would not have suffered such damage.

I recognize there are differing feelings and beliefs about what should and should not be done at Goleta Beach. My own feeling is that when a park is built for the community, it should be built to withstand the elements.

That is what is being done now and I doff my well-worn hat to the quick decisions and hard work by a lot of people who are trying to save and fortify one of our crown jewel local parks.

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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