Harbor History & District Priorities - MCC overview presentation
Overuse of inner harbor Perched Beach for dredge disposal has turned most of the former beach into an upland area, thus facilitating District plans to pave and develop. This “pre-development dredge disposal” was done without Coastal Commission permission in 1998 and 2006. One more dredge event was authorized in 2013, but public comment (including Supervisor Horsley) urged that future harbor dredge material be put to better use to restore and protect eroded shoreline areas. In order to secure the permit, Harbor District Manager wrote a last-minute letter to the Coastal Commission promising to do this. Read more.
Pillar Point RV Park was developed in 1999 on a Harbor District parcel that had been used for many decades as public beach parking with restroom facilities. The public restroom, a key amenity in this popular beach area, was closed. Critically needed west-of-highway beach parking has been lost, leading to increased highway congestion and danger for pedestrians. The much-reduced public day-use parking area is mostly empty due to $10 parking fee and towing/ private property signs. There have been ongoing issues with permanent residents at the RV Park.
Chronic harbor fecal pollution at Capistrano Beach: San Mateo County Resource Conservation District (RCD) directed a study to identify the sources of bacteria in Pillar Point Harbor and develop a plan to address the problem. “The key lesson learned from this project is that the high fecal indicator bacteria counts at Capistrano Beach are a landscape-level issue, not based at or in the Harbor itself but rather in the upland urban area.” Presentation of results. Final Report.
Harbor History & Documents:
1966, 1970, 1977, 1991 attempts to dissolve Harbor District (1,2,3)
1996 Army Corps construct concrete wall tying west breakwater to Pillar Point
2012 West Trail Erosion Study, via Public Records Request:
Surfers' Beach Erosion
Construction of the Pillar Point Harbor breakwater by the Army Corps of Engineers 1959-61 dramatically increased the rate of erosion south of the jetty. Local grassroots lobbying motivated the Army Corps, with the Harbor District as local sponsor, to undertake the Northern Half Moon Bay Shoreline Improvement Project in 2009. The project could consider a range of solutions, potentially including dredging sand from the harbor and creating openings in the jetty to create sand outflows.
The Army Corps process is lengthy as shown in this table. The Army Corps reported at public meeting 11/8/13 (presentation, video) that even if they eventually approved a mitigation project, it would be modest in scope due to funding limitations, and would not happen before 2017 earliest.
--Presentation on surf & sand dynamics at Pillar Point by local surfer and civil engineer Bob Battalio, Oct 2009
Highway Protection at Surfers' Beach
Coastal Regional Sediment (sand) Management (RSM) Plans are being developed for specific portions of the coast (littoral cells). The program seeks to present ways to restore and preserve beaches, reduce the proliferation of protective shoreline structures, sustain recreation and tourism, enhance public safety and access, restore coastal sandy habitats, and identify cost-effective solutions for restoration of areas impacted by excess sediment.
Santa Cruz Littoral Cell Coastal RSM Plan is currently being developed for Pillar Point to Moss Landing. The task list includes pursuing alternatives allowing for placement of clean sand within Marine Sanctuary boundaries, and formulating an acceptable pilot beach nourishment program for Surfer’s Beach or other location within the Santa Cruz Littoral Cell. A draft plan is expected to be available in early 2015.
Princeton Shoreline Erosion & Armoring
SMC Health System: Beach Water Quality Advisories