Save Beach from Erosion


Target: John Ainsworth, senior deputy director at the South Coast District Office of the California Coastal Commission

Goal: Remove rock barriers to save Goleta Beach from erosion

Goleta area politicians and many local residents openly oppose a prospective project on Goleta Beach in California that would remove rock revetments, or barriers, to save the sand beach longterm. Removing the barriers would mean relocating some facilities, but the city risks losing the beach entirely if the rocks are allowed to remain. Recently, the Board of Supervisors in Santa Barbara County sought permission from the California Coastal Commission to keep the rocks in place. Urge the commission to move forward with the project option that removes the rocks to preserve this important California beach.

Rock revetments, similar to seawalls, were installed at Goleta Beach to protect the nearby lawn and its amenities from storm damage. Some were legally installed, others illegally, and many were installed with permits that are now expired. Environmental groups are frustrated that residents, local politicians, and even the Board of Supervisors oppose removing the rocks even though that decision will lead to erosion and the eventual diminishment of the beach altogether. Groups such as the Environmental Defense Center and Surfrider Foundation support the Goleta Beach County Park Project option that involves facility relocation, construction of an earthen berm to protect against erosion, and removal of harmful rock revetments.

The maintenance would be costly, but it is a small sacrifice compared to the prospect of losing the beach entirely. The Board of Supervisors chose the option that serves the park at the expense of the beach, yet one of the attractions of the park is the existence of the beach. Without the aesthetics of the sand and water, there is less point in having those nearby facilities.

The Coastal Commission should pursue a course more protective of the beach. Urge it to heed the advice of environmental groups that want to preserve the beach longterm and allow its recommendation to go forward.


Dear Coastal Commission,

The Board of Supervisors in Santa Barbara County recently voted against a prospective project that would ultimately save Goleta Beach longterm. Rock revetments that were installed to protect against storm damage are now eroding away the sand. Environmental groups contend these barriers will eventually destroy the beach, but the city seems to favor the park and its facilities over the beach itself.

The beach must be protected first and foremost. I urge you to permit the project option that would preserve the beach for future generations.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Nandaro via Wikimedia Commons

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