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Group Seeks to Revive Oil Piers Surfing

June 18, 1999

SEACLIFF — At the Ventura County cove known as Oil Piers, the surf is definitely not up.

The reason, say frustrated surfers, is because Oil Piers is now No Piers. The surf flattened out after the oil industry pulled out last year and dismantled the two wooden piers that had been in operation for decades, transporting oil and kicking up memorable waves.

Now a coalition of surfers and business people think they have a plan to restore Oil Piers to its former glory. The nonprofit Quantum Reef Foundation has asked the state for permission to lease the beach in the hope of installing an artificial reef offshore to bring back the good surf.

The Hawaii-based foundation hopes to open the first public beach park in the United States that would be operated and maintained by surfers.

Members of the foundation want to make a park of the 4.9-acre stretch of beach that once was the site of Mobil Oil's operation. They say the reef also would provide a sanctuary for abalone.

Last week, members of the board traveled to Sacramento to present their plan to the State Lands Commission. They also need the approval of the state Coastal Commission and local governing bodies, which will take at least five years. The group is raising money.

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