Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ocean Beach 'Armoring' Given Go Ahead

The severe problem of erosion at Ocean Beach is to be remedied by constructing a large rock barrier, the Board of Supervisors decided this afternoon.

The emergency work of 'armoring' is to start tomorrow and will cost $2.6 million. It will run across 900 ft of beach from Sloat Boulevard, and opposite the San Francisco zoo.

The decision, in favour of the Department of Public Works, ends a campaign by environmentalists and surfers who had hoped to persuade the Board to vote instead for a much more expensive sand barrier.

Although the sand barrier would mean that erosion would slowly continue, it would preserve the beach for surfing, swimming and recreational use, argued the Save the Waves Coalition and the San Francisco Chapter of Surfrider Foundation.

They also said that the use of rocks will accelerate erosion on either side of the barrier.

But the DPW were concerned about the Great Highway - California's coastal route - and the huge wastewater tunnel that lies beneath it. The Lake Merced Wastewater Tunnel is 14 ft in diameter with a 10 million gallon capacity.

The San Francisco Zoo also borders the road - pic below

Yesterday afternoon work was going on on the top of the bluff while surfers were out on the ocean.

Al surfs there a couple of times a week but admitted to not following the debate too closely.

'I always figure things are going to turn out for the best. I thought initially they were talking about the parking lot and the road. I don't really care about that, it might even cut down on the crowds!' he said.

But he was happy to pitch his vote in with the surfers.

'If they're against the rocks, then I'm against the rocks! If it does affect the surf, then I'll be outraged! This is a really nice spot,' he said.

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