Thursday, November 1, 2018

Surfers' Point Phase 2 concepts

Planning is moving ahead for Phase 2 of the Managed Shoreline Retreat project at Surfers' Point. The Surfers' Point Managed Shoreline Retreat project is one of the first managed retreat projects to be implemented in California. Developed in response to coastal erosion, it serves as a model of sustainable shoreline management for other similar projects up and down the California coast.

Funding limitations in 2009 necessitated a phased approach to construction, with the first phase completed in July 2011.  Phase 1 included relocation of the bike path and parking lot landward and construction of a man-made cobble berm to stabilize the shoreline.  In 2012 sand dunes were constructed on top of the berm using sand imported from nearby Pierpont beach, and seeded with native dune plants. Dune restoration and maintenance has been supported through ongoing volunteer work days.

High tides of August 2018 damaged the bike path
leaving it vulnerable to coming winter swells.
Phase 2 will address this problem.
Although Phase 1 has demonstrated the effectiveness of the managed retreat approach, only approximately half of the threatened shoreline infrastructure has been relocated. Additionally, several features of the project remain outstanding or require modification as a result of lessons learned.

With the recent award of grant funding, planning is now underway.  The objectives are to:
  • Design refinements for Phase 1 of the Managed Shoreline Retreat project
  • Prepare final site design layout for Phase 2
  • Prepare design alternatives incorporating all integrated features, including civil and coastal engineering, cobble berm, and beach and dune habitat and landscape improvements
  • Complete final plans and specifications to allow for the preparation of bid and contract documents
This work will result in a "shovel ready" project that will be eligible for grant funding to complete construction and implementation.  This project is a perfect candidate for the recent Proposition 68, Parks, Environment, and Water Bond passed by California voters in June 2018. 

The Surfers' Point Working Group met on October 9, 2018.  The consultant team presented initial concept drawings and renditions of the project.  The main concerns with Phase 1 are the parking and stormwater runoff system, as well as fencing and gates, lighting and landscaping.  Some initial options were presented for all of these items.

Design options are also being considered to relocate the remaining bike path and parking lot further inland on Fairgrounds property, out of harms way.  The initial concept presented for this "Phase 2" area involves widening Shoreline Drive to provide space for the relocated parking lot and bike path.  A similar beach restoration strategy as used in Phase 1, a cobble berm and sandy beach/dune area, would be constructed to provide long term protection for the new bike path.

The rendition below provides an aerial perspective of how this might look:

Surfers Point Phase 2 - aerial rendition of initial "Concept A"

In this proposal the City would dedicate Shoreline Drive to the Fairgrounds to provide for relocated parking.    The layout of the parking areas and potential improvements are shown below.

Surfers' Point Managed Shoreline Retreat - Initial conceptual layout "Concept A" for Phase 2, October 2018

Utilizing Shoreline Drive in this manner provides the potential for an increase in parking from what exists today.  Note that these are very preliminary concepts and will change based on input from the working group.

The long-term benefits of this approach include:
  • Incorporating City-owned Shoreline Drive into the Fairgrounds property
  • Relocating the threatened bike path and parking lot
  • Eliminating hazard and liability of the undermined bike path and associated debris 
  • Increased public access, safety, and day-use beach parking
  • Protecting Fairgrounds property from future erosion damage and flood risk
  • Aesthetic improvements to Ventura's most popular beach and recreation area

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