Santa Barbara County Parks Department staff walked the shoreline at Goleta Beach Park earlier this week to find that much of the work crews had done to protect the beach from coming El Niño storms had been washed away with high tides over the weekend.
Crews worked all last week to construct a 2,400-foot sand berm along Goleta Beach Park to protect the park and surrounding infrastructure — including sewer, electrical and water lines, recreational facilities, the Beachside Bar-Cafe restaurant and two restrooms — from expected heavy storms.
The California Coastal Commission approved an emergency permit for a winter sand berm to be constructed along the shoreline.
However, the sand may not be enough.
It was moved from the eastern side of Goleta Beach to the western side, where erosion is strongest and more infrastructure such as the parking lot sits, and earth movers were seen Monday working along the beach.
Jill Van Wie, capital projects manager for the Parks Department, was one of those staffers out walking the beach, and said that the berm is doing its job, but that the county may need to explore more options to protect the park.
“A significant portion of their work was washed away,” she said of the berm.
Van Wie said she plans to call the California Coastal Commission to talk about other alternatives to the sand berm, which the commission has already approved as a temporary measure.
Because of the high tides, erosion is “happening a lot quicker.”
High tides are expected through most of December, so Van Wie was trying to set up a meeting with the commission “as soon as possible.”
— Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.