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Report Recommends Plans to Stop Beach Erosion

August 03, 1989|DENISE HAMILTON | Times Staff Writer

A beach erosion study recommends that Ventura County take immediate steps to halt the shrinking of its coastline. But officials say there is no money to act on such plans, which could cost up to $2.8 million.

The report, which assessed several possible plans, was compiled by BEACON, a group of officials from Santa Barbara and Ventura counties and from coastal cities in those counties.

Experts say that beach erosion from Point Conception to Point Mugu is worsening each year. Some beaches lose up to two feet of sand each year because of wind and shifting tides.

In addition to urging smaller, immediate projects costing from $100,000 to $2.8 million, the study recommended four detailed, long-term plans costing from $101 million to $764 million to battle erosion. The report said the smaller projects could be used to test the viability of the larger plans.

But the report did not address funding sources.

Expensive Options

"It's a good report and it lays out a number of options, but some are extremely expensive and there's no money to pay for them," said Ron Calkins, an engineer with the city of Ventura.

BEACON, which is presenting the results of its study at council meetings in coastal cities, is asking the cities and Ventura County to support a statewide bond issue that could generate money to rehabilitate recreation areas.

The report found that sand mining and dam construction along the Ventura and Santa Clara rivers has dramatically reduced the flow of sand to county beaches and will result in serious beach erosion by the mid-l990s.

Among the demonstration projects recommended by BEACON are: Replenishing sand on beaches by improving groins off the coast; planting grass on dunes to stabilize them and dredging the ocean bottom and dumping the recovered sand on key beaches.

The four more comprehensive plans call for:

* Widening 56 miles of beaches between Isla Vista and Point Mugu by pumping in offshore sand. "A fill project of this magnitude would be extremely ambitious and of a scale never before attempted in the United States," the study said.

* Targeting specific beaches between Isla Vista and Emma Woods State Beach and moving sand from Pierpont Bay to Mugu Canyon.

* Restoring lost sand only at "hot spot" recreational beaches frequented by residents.

* Replenishing lost sand at Carpinteria, Pierpont Bay, Oxnard Shores and Ormond beaches.

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