If you were on the Promenade this weekend you probably saw the sign announcing the upcoming repair work. Surfrider had commented on this issue as far back as 2001, and it's taken the city this long to come up with the funding to do a partial fix of the aging seawall. Our concerns have been that the addition of rock will narrow the beach, and make it more hazardous.
Apart from the decaying concrete, one of the biggest maintenance problems for the city has been the stairs in the 'cove.' These are the ones we all use to get in and out of the water, and they take a beating at high tide.
The biggest change will be the removal of these stairs, to be replaced 150 ft down the beach. They will be made of timber, and set back from the beach to help resist the regular poundings from high surf.
Ironically, the public notice was placed next to one of the SLAP poles. Since the promenade was constructed in 1969, sea level has slowly risen and the beach has narrowed - increasing the impacts on the seawall. We have commented both to the city and the Coastal Commission regarding the potential for ever-increasing costs of maintaining structures on the coast in the face of rising sea levels. Time will tell how long these repairs will hold up...
Paul Jenkin is the Environmental Director of the Ventura County Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, and founder of the Matilija Coalition. The Surfrider Foundation is an international environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enhancement of the world’s waves and beaches through conservation, activism, research, and education (CARE).
Since 1994, Paul has worked to restore the coast and watershed where he lives, in Ventura, California.