Monday, August 31, 2009

Response to VCReporter article

The Ventura County Reporter inaccurately reported that the Manged Retreat Project could reduce parking and impair coastal access. This is my response:

RE: Beach restoration presents logistical problems for Surfers Point

Your article By Paul Sisolak 08/27/2009 incorrectly portrays the beach restoration project at Surfers' Point as impacting coastal access. This is unfortunate, as the project was designed specifically to ensure continued beach access. In fact, although there are almost unlimited parking spaces in the adjacent fairgrounds, beach access has always been one of the primary issues regulated by the Coastal Commission. According to the plans approved for the first phase of the project, only the upper portion of the existing beach parking lot will be removed, most of which is currently unused due to the damages caused by erosion more than a decade ago. During this phase there will actually be more parking than there is currently, since the new parking area in the fairgrounds dirt lot will be improved for daily use in addition to the remainder of the current beach parking. The Coastal Commission permit also requires that all work must be done during the winter season to avoid the ‘peak’ summer season and annual County Fair events.

The Surfers' Point Managed Shoreline Retreat project has been designed to undo the mistake made 20 years ago when the shoreline was graded and filled to provide for a bike path and parking lot. This was approved at the time, despite objections from locals who had witnessed the previous failed bike path and understood the dynamics of this beach formed by the Ventura River and shaped by large winter swells. Managed retreat will not only restore the natural ability of the beach to adapt to the forces of nature, but also give back to Ventura a beautiful beach by the rivermouth as envisioned by our benefactor EP Foster in the early 1900’s.

For more details and a diagram of the plan, please see: