| County plans to armor Pleasure Point
A proposed seawall at the popular surfing spot off Pleasure Point would stretch
from 33rd Avenue to 36th Avenue with a companion wall near the end of 41st Avenue
at “The Hook.” The seawalls would be constructed with public funds
from The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; the California Department of Boating and
Waterways; with roadway, bicycle/pedestrian, restroom, stairways, and parking
projects above the wall paid for by the County of Santa Cruz.
The Preferred Alternative noted in the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR)
is “Full Bluff Armoring.” The Sierra Club along with Surfrider, Surfers’
Environmental Alliance and Save Our Shores oppose this approach.
The Club’s concerns include the fact that areas south of the Harbor have
been suffering from lack of normal sand since the construction of the west jetty
of the Harbor. Since the construction of the west jetty, numerous properties have
applied for permits to armor their own section of coast which are suffering from
the effects of the west jetty construction. Most of the pocket beaches between
the Harbor and the mouth of the San Lorenzo have been lost under piles of boulders.
The Club asked for development of an alternative for a “sand bypass”
around the harbor jetty that would return at least half of the sand to the natural
system. Others have asked for development of a “planned retreat” alternative.
Additional comments pointed out that much of the erosion in the Pleasure Point
bluffs are due to drainage and maintance practices of the County.
The final EIR is expected to be available this summer for public comment.
Pajaro River mouth development should be relocated
Another proposed local seawall is a 715-foot metal wall to protect the gated community
at the mouth of the Pajaro River. The Club is on record opposing this project
and suggesting the environmentally superior alternative of moving the condos off
the public tidelands and away from the mouth of the river. These units were constructed
right on the sand in the late 1960s just before the Coastal Act was enacted in
The proposed wall would be built on public property on Zmudowski State Beach,
one of the premiere snowy plover habitats left along the coast.. This project
too is likely to be on the Coastal Commission’s August agenda.