DOCKWEILER BEACH — The Los Angeles City Council approved the first artificial surfing reef in the nation Friday, a joint partnership with the Chevron Corp., which severely damaged the surf when it built a jetty there in the 1980s.
The California Coastal Commission approved the Chevron-funded reef in October and needed formal approval from the city since the waters of Dockweiler State Beach fall under the jurisdiction of the city's Department of Recreation and Parks.
The reef will be made of 5,000 cubic yards of sandbags. The bags will be dropped from a barge into 15 feet of water, 300 feet off Dockweiler beach. The reef will not create waves but will cause existing waves to break in a way favorable to surfers.
The Surfrider Foundation will build and maintain the reef and monitor it for 10 years. The reef will be named for one of surfing's biggest advocates, Tom Pratte. It is a result of a coastal development permit granted to Chevron's El Segundo refinery.
The company built a jetty there to protect its pipelines, but five years of studies showed that the waves were flattened as a result.