Letter to CCC May 26, 2016

Letter to CCC May 26, 2016

By Friends of Goleta Beach Park on Nov 28, 2018 at 09:51 PM

From: Friends of Goleta Beach Park

To: California Coastal Commission/Staff

Date: May 26, 2016

Subject: Comments on Coastal Permit Amendment – CDP 4-14-0687 April 17, 2016

Friends of Goleta Beach Park (herein Friends…) fully supports the County of Santa Barbara recommendations for an amendment to the Coastal Permit CDP 4-14-0687 for retaining the revetment measures designed and constructed under the Emergency Coastal Development Permit 4-16-0027.

As you are aware, there was still 900 linear feet of beach/park frontage on the west-end still unprotected after the County received the new twenty year permit 4-14-0687.  During El Nino winter storm years, all west facing beaches and coastlines have been in harm’s way with high high tides and wave actions against landward assets which requiring protection (covered under Section 30235 Construction altering natural shorelines).  With the most recent winter storms (Jan-March 2016) the existing 1200 linear feet of rock revetment proved its effectiveness against strong wave action and protected most landward assets (parking lots, grass park).  However the unprotected areas were in harm’s way and major erosion was experienced at several locations as you’re aware. 

Friends… believe there are two main reasons for this occurrence:

  • The Pacific Ocean had a higher sea level temperature than normal which corresponds to an elevated sea level rise.  This attributed to higher high tides that when coupled with powerful waves generates a stronger wave penetration for west facing beaches such as Goleta Beach Park.  Data supporting this phenomenon can be found on the NOAA, Sea Level Trends, which shows the El Nino impact on sea levels in the Santa Barbara Channel over the past 25 years.
  • Because of the high energy wave impacts, the unprotected portions of the Park experienced elevated sea water penetration against the porous clay landfill used when the Park was built in the 1940’s.  What this winter season exposed was a set of sub-surface drains installed at the time of park construction that when pressured wave action penetrated the piping, started the first blowholes that ultimately created several large crevasses along each exposed pipeline.
    This series of variables played a major role is this year’s damage that has been corrected by your office approving the Emergency Permit 4-16-0027.  The design and construction of removing the old drains, rebuilding the park substructure with geotextile layered filtered fabric cells will, as the County and their engineering consultants indicate, can provide protection for future El Nino winter storms.

In addition, the improvement installed are most consistent with Alternative 1 in the Goleta Beach 2.0 EIR.  A geotextile core dune system was documented as “emulating a natural coastal processes, while allowing for moderation of adverse effects of erosion on important recreational facilities”.

Goleta Beach Park can also now provide an invaluable service to other coastal communities with the trade-offs of protection and consequences of this newer technology vs rip rap which is now side by side in one location for future analysis and comparisons.

Friends… hopes that the CCC and Staff sees the merits of this investment and will allow the County to apply and, with the proper documentation, permanently be permitted so that the 1.4 million visitors a year can enjoy this beautiful beach park for years to come.

Michael W. Rattray – Friends of Goleta Beach Park
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