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Environment and Energy

Coastal Commission staff recommends keeping Goleta rock wall—for now

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California Coastal Commission
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California Coastal Commission staff is recommending that the rock wall at Goleta Beach County Park get a 20 year extension to remain in place. 

The 12-hundred foot long wall has been the topic of much debate.

Local environmentalists, including the Santa Barbara Surfrider chapter, say that studies show rock seawalls eventually work against sandy beaches, causing them to disappear. Supporters of the wall say it helps protect key areas of the park, including the lawn. 

A little more than a year ago, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to keep the rock revetments in place but still need Coastal Commission approval to do so.

The Commission meets next month in Santa Barbara where it will consider the issue. While staff recommends the extension, it does so with a number of special conditions including monitoring of the beach. The beach monitoring plan would require monthly inspection of the area.

Conditions of staff report:

  • Development Authorization Period
  • Beach and Revetment Monitoring and Adaptive Management
  • Limitations on Beach Grooming and Wrack Management
  • Public Access Program
  • Assumption of Risk
  • Indemnification by Applicant
  • Required Approvals
  • Condition Compliance.

You can view the entire staff report here.

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