Sierra Club calls 2.0 extreme version of “managed retreat”! Supports Alternative 2.

Sierra Club calls 2.0 extreme version of “managed retreat”! Supports Alternative 2.

By Friends of Goleta Beach Park on May 13, 2014 at 07:26 PM

PO Box 31241,
Santa Barbara, CA 93130-1241

Santa Barbara County Planning Commission

Dear Chair Hartmann and Planning Commission members: 
Comment on the Goleta Beach 2.0 DEIR:

The Santa Barbara Group of the Sierra Club opposes the implementation of the Goleta Beach 2.0 plan. We have been following this issue for more than 5 years and submitted a letter to the CCC in 2009 indicating a lack of support for a “managed retreat” plan at that time.

Goleta Beach 2.0 is an extreme version of “managed retreat” perhaps better categorized as “encouraged” or “premature” retreat. In its failure to attempt to protect the park and its facilities it places a priority on maintaining the beach in a pristine condition over maintaining the heavily used park facilities and access thereto.

We find it ironic that so much money and effort has been devoted to trying to get rid of rocks protecting the west end of the beach when the rock revetment at the eastern end is grandfathered and will not be removed.

Goleta Beach 2.0 ignores the environmental justice issues that are raised by the high degree of accessibility of the park and its heavily minority usage. Goleta Beach Park is simply the most easily accessible beach area in the county for people of all ages and mobilities. This is one of those cases where the broad interests of the community should outweigh those of a narrowly focused group.

We believe that any plan that is implemented should preserve the existing configuration of the park and its parking as long as is reasonably possible in the face of the predicted sea level rise, using whatever methods are appropriate and feasible. Further we support the testing of relatively inexpensive and innovative methods as suggested in Alternative 2.

Jim Childress 
Chair, Sierra Club Santa Barbara Group