In the fight against potential beach erosion, Santa Barbara County Parks Department officials began transferring sand from Santa Barbara West Beach to Goleta Beach County Park on Monday.
Bulldozers pushed and piled sand near the Santa Barbara Harbor, marking the start of a $65,000 project to import 6,000 cubic yards of sand to the beach near UC Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara Airport.
“Goleta Beach Park sand levels have oscillated over time,” said Community Services Department Director George Chapjian. “Lower sand levels naturally limit public recreational facilities.”
One thousand cubic yards will be used for required beach maintenance and the remaining 5,000 cubic yards will be stored offsite for future upkeep.
“Excavation and storage of more sand at one time for potential future maintenance allows for less frequent disruptions due to construction activities at the harbor,” Chapjian said. “Less frequency of excavation also reduces construction mobilization costs.”
Exporting excess sand to Goleta Beach Park helps the county comply with California Coastal Commission permit requirements to maintain sand cover to ensure safe beach access, as well as protect recreational resources and park facilities, Chapjian said.
A similar sand replenishment project was implemented in 2010, and the beach lost significant amounts of sand to erosion due to high waves and tides during 2014 storms.
A surplus of sand is available at West Beach and the harbor which could build up over time and limit the inner harbor water depth, Chapjian said.
Excavation of excess sand will help maintain a quiet water area within the harbor and adequate depth for boating, he said.
The project is undertaken in cooperation with the Santa Barbara Waterfront Department, and paid for by Santa Barbara County’s Community Services Department.
An estimate of 60 trucks per day over 10 days will exit the harbor parking lot at Cabrillo Boulevard and use Castillo Street to access U.S. Highway 101 for transit to Goleta Beach, according to the Community Services Department Parks Division.
Traffic control, signage and construction monitors will be on the Santa Barbara Harbor and Goleta Beach Park sites during construction activities, Chapjian said.
Crews are scheduled to work on the first phase of the project from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Jan. 9 through Jan. 13.
If necessary and if implemented, an additional $65,000 will be spent on the second phase of construction starting on Feb. 6 through Feb. 10, Chapjian said.
Goleta Beach Park sees more than 1.5 million visitors annually and the area features a restaurant, a 1,500-foot pier, barbecuing amenities and recreational areas.
— Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.