Winter storms haven’t brought much rain, but high tides and waves have pounded the Goleta Beach Park rocks so much that Santa Barbara County crews needed to bring in reinforcements.
Since some rocks were displaced from the revetment that’s been protecting the beach since 2005, county parks recently added back 10 percent of total rocks, according to Jill Van Wie, county parks capital projects manager.
The light-colored boulders give the newer ones away, she said.
The county has permission to repair and maintain the revetment from a California Coastal Commission permit, which was approved in May 2015 and issued Dec. 28, Van Wie said.
The county Board of Supervisors asked the Coastal Commission in 2014 to keep the 1,200-foot rock revetment along the beach, which was installed to protect park facilities and utilities from erosion, particularly during winter storms.
County parks also obtained an emergency permit from the commission last November to construct a sand berm from the pier to the west end of the beach — one crews can maintain through May, Van Wie said.
The piles of sand have already taken a beating.
“The sand is depleting,” she said.
“There are a lot of low sand levels everywhere on the coast. Maintaining that has been a challenge.”
Van Wie said berms usually only go up for significantly stronger events, with the commission rarely issuing emergency preventative measures.
In order to place new rocks, county parks just needed to issue a project notification to the commission, which the department did in January, she said.
The 20-year conditional permit from the commission includes an ongoing maintenance plan to keep the rocks covered with sand, and a monitoring system so potential environmental impacts can be evaluated over time.
Goleta Beach Park sees about 1 million visitors annually.
— Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.